MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sonny Angara on Tuesday urged the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) to consider setting up more satellite sites for licensure exams so candidates no longer have to travel long distances to take the test in the midst of the pandemic.
The PRC can establish testing sites in provinces where there are more than 100 applicants with the help of local government units (LGUs), Angara said in a statement.
“The LGUs can support the program by providing the facilities for the exams and the staff required for this purpose. The PRC can just provide the necessary training for these personnel. By doing this, the cost should not be too high for the government, ”he said.
Angara said the pandemic had affected many families financially and that current travel restrictions “have become very difficult” due to quarantine protocols.
“Licensure exams take place at regional offices in the PRC and for many who will take the exam it means traveling long distances from their home province. In addition to the cost of transport, they will also have to seek accommodation and due to the pandemic, undergo COVID-19 tests, ”he added.
“It all adds up and can be prohibitive for many families. Ayaw naman natin can graduate in matuloy hindi in the PRC exam being examined for kailangan gastusin in everyone, ”Angara said.
(All of these add up and can be prohibitive for many families. We don’t want graduates unable to take their PRC exam due to the heavy expense of our current situation.)
The senator said that with the “possible reopening of face-to-face classes”, the number of certified teachers should be increased as well as doctors, nurses and police officers.
“If we can produce more of our frontliners during this pandemic, we should find ways to do it. Setting up satellite review sites is one small way to help this effort, ”Angara said.
The Interagency Working Group for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases recently approved the PRC’s request to hold licensing exams from July to September.
PRC chief Teofilo Pilando Jr. said earlier that candidates as well as exam staff will need to undergo a COVID-19 quarantine and swab test before the exam.
Pilando added that the PRC has designated additional examination locations, where the capacity of candidates is reduced to 18 out of the previous 24, in accordance with social distancing rules. However, he did not mention the location of these new places.
Licensure exams scheduled for 2020 had already been postponed in August due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. Faith Yuen Wei Ragasa, INVESTIGATOR intern
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