SC courts closed nationwide starting Monday

March 20, 2020

THE Supreme Court yesterday the closure of all courts nationwide starting Monday, March 23, due to the continuous rise of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The order was contained in Administrative Circular No. 32-2020 dated 20 March 2020 and signed by Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.

It was addressed to all litigants, justices, judges, and personnel of the judiciary, and members of the Bar.

For his part, SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said in a message: "Judiciary is indeed trying to find ways of stopping the spread of the virus. By physically closing the courts, we hope we can contribute to this objective."

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon including Metro Manila under the enhanced community quarantine to stop the spread of the feared virus COVID-19.

A memorandum from Malacañang on the enhanced quarantine guides government agencies to ensure the following:

Prohibition of mass gatherings and imposition of strict home quarantine among all households;

Work-from-home arrangement for the executive branch;

Only essential establishments are to remain open (those private establishments providing basic necessities and such activities related to food and medicine production i.e. public markets, supermarkets, groceries, convenience stores, hospitals, medical clinics, pharmacies and drug stores, food preparation and delivery services, water-refilling stations, manufacturing and processing plants of basic food products and medicines, power energy, water and telecommunications)

Suspension of mass public transport facilities;

Restricted land, air and sea travel; and

Labor, social welfare, finance, budget and trade departments to come up with programs for affected workers and businesses.