OCA CIRCULAR NO. 130-2020
RE: AUTHORITY OF ALL SINGLE-SALA COURTS TO CONDUCT VIDEOCONFERENCING HEARINGS
The delay in resolving pending cases before the courts brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak urged the Supreme Court to authorize more single-sala courts to conduct videoconferencing hearings. This is supported by the successful pilot-testing of videoconferencing hearings of all courts in the National Capital Judicial Region and in the key cities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao pursuant to A.C. No. 37-2020.
The Supreme Court issued OCA Circular No. 130-2020 on August 14, 2020, which authorized all 882 single-sala courts not yet authorized to conduct videoconferencing hearings, but have been provided with Philippine Judiciary 365 accounts pursuant to OCA Circular No. 92-2020, to pilot-test and conduct the same on all matters pending before them in both criminal and civil cases in accordance with existing circulars and guidelines.
The conduct of videoconferencing hearings will somehow resolve the problems involving clogging of court dockets and delay in the court action on pending cases. Moreover, it will ensure the safety of the members of the Judiciary and the litigants against the dangers of COVID-19 because it dispenses with the necessity to appear personally before the courts. Accordingly, the Supreme Court must issue strict guidelines for the conduct of videoconferencing hearings as to not compromise the administration of justice.