MANILA - Court employees have been ordered to observe a stricter dress code and to refrain from using cellphones in public areas of courts.
Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin made the directive during his visit to the Quezon City Hall of Justice on Thursday, where he started his career in the judiciary as a regional trial court judge in 1986.
In his speech, Bersamin asked court employees to step inside a room if they need to take a call.
"If you are in public areas of the court, the corridors, the lobbies, the elevators, do not be caught using the cellphone. If ever a cellphone rings and you are to answer, please go inside the room, conceal yourself from the public, and respond to the text cellphone call," he said.
"Huwag po kayong magsigawan sa loob ng mga public areas dahil ayoko pong marinig na ang mga taong hudikatura ay mga walang pinag-aralan at mga walang modo," he added.
(Please don't shout when in public areas because I don't want to hear that people from the judiciary are uneducated and ill-mannered.)
Bersamin had earlier asked court employees not to use cellphones during work hours, in his speech during his first flag raising ceremony as chief justice on December 3, even joking he might ban the use of cellphones entirely and bring back landlines.
In his speech on Thursday, Bersamin also asked court employees to follow a dress code: No t-shirts, only collared shirts with no loud colors for male employees. Women wearing collarless shirts should also wear blazers, he said.
Supreme Court Spokesperson and Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez confirmed the chief justice also mentioned prohibiting mini-skirts in courts.
"It's high time we went back to that image of the judiciary that is very respected, the judiciary that is conscious of its place in the society," Bersamin said.
"Maliit na pakiusap ko yan sa inyo ngunit (That's a small favor but please) in the next 10 months," he added.
Bersamin will retire in October 2019.