The Civil Service Commission (CSC) said it is looking at replicating the digitalized and regionalized 2022 Bar examinations, which concluded on Sunday, Nov. 20.
The Supreme Court (SC) shared its knowledge on how it conducted this year’s Bar exams to a CSC delegation led by its chair Karlo Nograles, who personally observed the operations of the Bar examinations in the SC’s Command Center at the Ateneo de Manila University. The Command Center monitors the conduct of the Bar examinations in 14 local testing centers nationwide.
In a letter dated Nov. 8, 2022, Nograles requested SC chief justice Alexander G. Gesmundo to allow the delegation to observe the conduct of the Bar examinations. The same letter was endorsed by Gesmundo to SC associate justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa, this year’s Bar examinations chairperson.
“In line with our vision to transition from the conventional pen-and- paper examinations, the Commission plans to introduce digitalized and localized examinations for the CSC-PPT [Civil Service Examinations – Pen and Paper Test] sustaining the momentum of the digital shift pioneered by the Supreme Court… As we transition to this digitalized platform, we would like to request the support of the Supreme Court in a collaborative endeavor for the adoption of policies and methodologies towards this digital shift,” Nograles said in his letter.
Nograles said that aside from observing the actual conduct of the Bar examinations, the visit was “to benchmark the procedures and operations for formal integration of [the Court’s] best practices in the localized and digitalized civil service examinations.”
He said the CSC has resumed the administration of the Civil Service Examinations – Pen and Paper Test (CSC- PPT) from almost two years of suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the first half of this year, the CSC administered eight eligibility examinations with 213,081 takers, resulting in 35,382 passers. Meanwhile, the examinations held last August 2022 yielded 26,307 passers out of 138,703 takers, and just recently, last October 2022, a total of 74,766 examinees took three civil service examinations administered nationwide.
The 2022 Bar Examinations, on the other hand, concluded last Sunday with 9,183 of the 10,006 applicants who participated in the venue selection (91.77%) hurdling all four days of the grueling exams for future lawyers.
Data released by the Office of the Bar Chair showed that only 9,184 of the 9,190 who completed the third day of the Bar Examinations showed up for the last day of the Bar Examinations in the morning.
Caguioa also formally passed the torch to SC associate justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando as the incoming 2023 Bar examinations chairperson during the turnover ceremonies held at the International Residence Hall Cafeteria in Ateneo de Manila University in Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
Hernando said that the next Bar examinations will be held in September 2023 and condensed into a three-day examinations spread across a week.
Gesmundo said the digitalized and regionalized Bar examinations had given a fair and equal chance for everyone.
“Let me congratulate Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa and his team for taking our big leap towards bar reform another step forward. Indeed, through our new modality, we have significantly given our examinees a more level playing field, and as the Ateneo prayer goes, ‘a chance equal with those in the strife’,” he said.