MORE lower courts have been placed on temporary lockdown as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the country.
In Ilagan City, Isabela, the regional trial court [RTC] and municipal trial court in cities [MTCC] are physically closed from August 6 to 12, 2020 after the entire city was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Also, the Bacoor City Hall of Justice was placed on lockdown from August 1 to August 14 following possible local COVID-19 transmission.
To contain the spread of the coronavirus, all judges and personnel of the RTC, MTCC, and Office of the Clerk of Court in Bacoor City have been advised to stay at home under the work-from-home scheme during the said period.
Those who tested positive for COVID-19 should immediately seek treatment, while those with exposure should undergo swab testing.
The courts shall continue to operate through their respective hotline numbers and judiciary emails.
Courts may also conduct video conference hearings and accept pleadings through electronic filing pursuant to existing circulars issued by the Supreme Court.
Last week, following the reimposition of the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, the SC extended the physical closure of courts in the National Capital Region to August 18.
President Duterte late Sunday night placed Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan on MECQ following the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
The MECQ will last from August 4 to 18. Under MECQ trains, buses, jeepneys, taxis, ride-hailing services, tricycles are not allowed to operate. Manufacturing plants and other establishments are allowed to operate only with half their capacity.
Duterte revived the MECQ after healthcare workers’ groups called for a timeout to give exhausted frontline medical personnel a respite.