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SC allows courts, personnel to adopt 'flexible' work hours due to intense heat

MANILA, Philippines —  The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday announced adjusted office hours of courts across the country in response to “extreme heat and weather conditions.”

In a circular issued by the Office of the Court Administrator on Thursday, courts will observe revised working hours from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., from April 5 until May 31, to "prevent health complications" caused by the intense heat.

The regular working hours of courts are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The SC also allowed judges and court personnel to observe “flexible work arrangements”.

“Executive judges shall act on petitions for bail and other urgent matters on Saturday afternoons after 12 noon and on Sundays, official holidays, and special days, when exceptional circumstances so warrant,” the court’s circular read. 

“OCA Circulars and other approved work arrangements inconsistent with the foregoing are deemed suspended for the duration of the flexible arrangement as provided herein,” it added. 

In the latest heat index bulletin of the state weather bureau PAGASA, seven areas in the country are under the “danger” classification in the heat index.

Under the "danger" classification, temperatures range from 42°C to 51°C, posing risks of heat-related ailments such as heat cramps or heat exhaustion, as warned by the weather agency.

On March 26, PAGASA also said that the high heat index due to the dry season could last until May.