ALL first and second level courts in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) are open starting Monday, May 17, including the appellate courts – except the Supreme Court – with skeleton workforce of at least 30 percent but not more than 50 percent.
However, courts and judicial offices under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) shall remain physically closed until the duration of ECQ and MECQ.
They may still be reached through their hotlines and email addresses listed in the SC’s website – sc.judiciary.gov.ph.
The National Capital Region and the provinces of Laguna, Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal or NCR Plus are areas under GCQ until May 31.
The other areas in GCQ are Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Abra, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Puerto Princesa City, Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur.
Areas under MECQ are Santiago City in Isabela, Quirino, Ifugao, and Zamboanga City. There are also areas under ECQ declared by local government units.
Judges in GCQ areas “may conduct fully remote video conferencing hearings with notice to the Office of the Court Administrator provided they will be within their respective judicial territorial region. ”
“All justices, judges, court personnel, and court users are reminded to continue to strictly observe safety protocols,” the administrative circular signed by Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo read.