I write this letter in light of new Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s advocacy for reform, particularly with respect to the bar examinations.
Ever since, the bar exams have always been held in Manila to the disadvantage of the examinees from the provinces, especially those from the Visayas and Mindanao, where there are so many of them now.
I think it is high time we held the bar exams simultaneously in Manila and in some of the major cities in the Visayas and/or Mindanao.
I suppose the first concern that comes to mind in holding bar exams outside Manila is the danger of leakage. But with the advent of new technologies, the danger of leakage can easily be overcome. All that is needed is to e-mail the bar questions directly to the site of the bar exams, such as the school where they would be held, 30 minutes or an hour before the start of each exam. This means all the examinees must be inside their respective rooms an hour before the exam—of course, sans their cell phones to prevent communication.
The e-mailed bar questions can be photocopied on, say, 20 printers that can produce in about 20 minutes hundreds of copies, which could then be distributed to the examinees in time for the exam.
It is quite expensive for provincial examinees to fly and stay in Manila for the duration of the bar exams scheduled for four Sundays. Manila has now become very expensive to live in, let alone the discomfort and inconvenience confronting the transients therein.
Indeed, it is high time that bar exams be held in different places simultaneously, if only to level the playing field and in the spirit of fair play.—ERIBERTO M. SUSON, 16-M Sanson Rd., Lahug, Cebu City