February 4, 2021- The long-awaited and first-ever localized Bar Exam has finally kicked off across the Philippines after more than a year of delay. For MSU Law Iligan Extension alone, 200 barristers were sent to sit for the exam, mainly composed of the last two batches who graduated from the College of Law.
As early as 3 am, the food booth was stationed outside IIT, with volunteers who had undergone Antigen Tests. Supreme Court has continuously emphasized the need for strict measures until the last day of the exam on February 6, considering the number of takers and the increasing rate of COVID cases. Each bar taker must be negative in their Antigen tests, including the proctors and other volunteers.
Bar takers have started to arrive at the testing center as early as 4 am. By 7:30 am, gates were closed. Most barristers were accompanied by no one, while some were sent by their families. Many of them were obviously nervous, so SLSC officers and law students from the lower year levels have gone the extra mile to creatively cheer on every barrister passing by. Law professors and former College Admins like Vice-Chancellor Atty. Alizedney Ditucalan, Atty. Grace Reyes-Advincula, Assistant Dean Joanah Alinog- Disocor, Judge Arassad Macumbal, Sir Joel Grageda, Maam Noemi Grageda, and the Over-All Bar Operations Chairperson Dean Annabelle Cañazares-Mindalano were also in attendance to express their support.
The local Government Unit spearheaded by Mayor Celso Regencia has also been closely working with MSU College of Law Iligan and Supreme Court since last year. MSU IIT, under the leadership of outgoing Chancellor Sukarno Tanggol, had likewise played a vital role when they signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the SC En Banc, giving consent to allow the use of their facilities. More so, MSU IIT has mandatorily imposed a one-week no-work policy on its faculties and staff as part of its preparation. Traffic enforcers and uniformed men from the Philippine National Police were also deployed to ensure the safe and orderly conduct of the Bar Exam in the city. The success of the localized exam was indeed a product of collaborative efforts.
Lastly, law students, professors, supporters, and families await the examinees for the traditional salubong this afternoon. However, the fight is still not over as bar takers will still have to face another grueling day on Sunday.