The Supreme Court (SC) announced that it will extend the physical closure of all the courts in the National Capital Region (NCR) and its four neighboring provinces until April 18.

According to its administrative circular, the high court cited the “unabated rise of Covid-19 cases, the requests of judges and court personnel, and upon concurrence of the members of the Court en banc” as the basis for the extension of physical closure of all the courts and judicial offices in the NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal. 

The closure was supposed to end tomorrow, April 11. 

Due to the closure extension, the SC said the time for filing and service of pleadings and motions during the period is also suspended and shall commence seven calendar days counted from the first day of physical reopening of the relevant court. 

NCR courts, however, shall continue to work through videoconferencing “as far as practicable.”

“Judges may conduct fully remote videoconferencing hearings on pending cases and other matters, whether urgent or not, regardless of their physical location and without prior permission from the Office of the Court Administrator,” the Supreme Court said.

Essential judicial offices will retain the necessary skeleton staff to meet all urgent matters of the court, the SC added. Ronald dela Cruz