MANILA, May 3 — For the first time, no Metro Manila-based school landed in the top 10 of the 2016 Bar examinations, according to results released by Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero J. Velasco Jr. said a total of 3,747 out of the 6,344 examinees who took the 2016 Bar examinations passed and this figure translates to 59.06 percent of the total examinees.
“I am happy and pleased to announce that the country now as 3,747 new lawyers. This represents a passing percentage of 59.06 percent. I congratulate and doff my hat to the 3,747 successful candidates. Mabuhay po silang lahat. They deserve to be members of the prestigious legal profession,” Velasco said.
He noted the figure and percentage are higher than the 26.21 percent (1,731 out of 6,605) who passed the 2015 Bar examinations.
He said the highest passing percentage in the history of the bar exams from 1946 to 2015 is 75.17 percent in 1954 while the highest passing percentage with the passing average of 75 percent was attained in 1998 with 39.63 percent.
“In 2016, the passing percentage is definitely the highest with the remarkable 59.06 percent based on the grade of 75 percent,” he added.
Atty. Christina Layusa, the Bar Confidant, pointed out that “it is the first time that not a single Metro Manila based school placed in the top 10.”
She said that University of San Carlos had four graduates in the top 10 while Silliman University had three graduates in the top 10.
Karen Mae L. Calam, a graduate of the University of San Carlos, topped this year’s Bar Examinations with the highest over-all rating of 89.0500% followed by Alanna Gayle Ashley Khio of Siliman University with 88.95 while Fiona Cristy Lao also of University of San Carlos and Athalia Liong of Andres Bonifacio College shared the third spot with a rating of 88.80 percent.
In 4th place is Allana Mae Babayen-On of University of San Agustin with a rating of 88.75 followed by Justin Ryan Morilla of Ateneo de Davao University with 88.40, Mark Dave Camaraol of Northwestern University with 88.10, Anne Margaret Momongan of University of San Carlos with 87.80, Jefferson Gomez also of University of San Carlos with 87.70 while Nia Rachelle Gonzales of the University of Batangas and Marie Chielo Ybio of Siliman University shared the 9th place with a rating of 87.50.
In 10th place is Andrew Stephen Liu of Siliman University with a rating of 87.45.
Absent from the list of the top placers are the usual top law schools in the country — University of the Philippines College of Law, Ateneo de Manila University and San Beda College.
Layusa said that bar passers may secure their clearances from the Office of the Bar Confidant beginning on May 8-21, 2017.
Oath-taking of the successful Bar candidates will be held on May 22, 2017 at 3 p.m at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena. Registration will start at 11 a.m..
“The oath taking ceremonies will take place on May 22, Monday, at the Mall of Asia Arena, because of the large number of successful candidates, we are to get a bigger venue. Since it is a big venue, we are allowing the successful candidates to bring or invite at least two or three candidates for this momentous event,” he noted.
The bar examinations are given annually in the course of one month, spread over four Sundays. It is the only professional licensure examinations which require the examinees to answer open-ended questions written in long hand. These questions, formulated by the bar examiners for each subject and selected personally by the Bar Committee Chair on the day of each examination, are formulated to test analytical ability, facility in expression in terms of written argument, comprehension of basic principles of law, and grasp of jurisprudence.
Due to the scope and difficulty, the bar examinations are regarded as the most prestigious professional licensure exam in the country. It is also the only licensure examination that is not administered by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).
The 2016 Bar Examinations are the 115th to be held in the Philippines. The exams were held at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila and were administered by the Office of the Bar Confidant headed by Deputy Clerk of Court and Bar Confidant Atty. Ma. Cristina B. Layusa.
For the 2016 bar examinations, a total of 6,924 filed their applications; of this number, 21 applications were denied, 72 applicants withdrew their applications, leaving a total number of 6,831 who were admitted by the Supreme Court En Banc to take the examinations.
Of the 6,831 admitted to take the exam, 477 examinees did not show up on the first Sunday of the bar, leaving 6,354 who actually took the exams on the first Sunday. After the fourth Sunday of the bar, only 6,344 examinees completed the examinations, i.e., showed up for all Sundays. Of this number, 3,747 passed.
Of the 6,354 who took showed up for at least one Sunday, 3,208 were new candidates while 3,146 were repeaters, i.e., those who had taken the bar examinations at least once previously.
The Bar examinations are given only once every year at a designated venue under the supervision of the Supreme Court which designates an incumbent Justice to chair a committee consisting of eight examiners, one for each bar subject.
The Chair of the Annual Bar Examinations is given the discretion by the Supreme Court to choose the eight bar examiners who are considered as experts in their particular fields and, during the entire duration of the bar examinations, are bound by strict confidentiality. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/ with Julianne Nicolle Moral-OJT/PNA