Northern Samar Rep. Paul Ruiz Daza urged his fellow lawmakers and concerned government departments, specifically the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC), to review its policies on licensure examinations and procedures.
Daza revealed data from the PRC stating that the average passing rate in 36 professions from 2017 to 2022 is only 40.81 percent.
Daza in a privilege speech said he particularly lamented how Certified Public Accountants (CPA), fishery technologists, and agriculturists only have ‘staggeringly low’ 24.36 percent, 33.18 percent and 36.92 percent passing rates, respectively.
Accordingly, he clarified that students themselves are not to be blamed. “These board exams are anti-student, anti-poor, and arbitrary.
The students should not be solely blamed for this,” he exclaimed.
“Kasalanan po yan ng CHED, PRC, or maybe our society in general. And we need to find solutions.”
Daza explained that there is a need to consider implementing alternative “licensing routes” wherein a professional may acquire a license without taking the exams.
“While it does not stop those who want, and have the privilege, to take such exams, it also provides accessibility to professionals who are hampered from taking exams due to personal, practical, or economic reasons,” Daza said.
The congressman also urged that his fellow legislators and the regulators to recognize the need for such alternatives due to the current living situation of the average Filipino.
Daza asked. “Many of these graduates are from poor and disadvantaged groups and it is truly disheartening that they could not pursue their much-sought profession because they could not pass the board exams.”
One of the alternative licensure paths suggested is through an apprenticeship program. “Aspiring professionals in a field may instead be allowed to practice their profession under a licensed professional for a significant period, and then be qualified to be licensed pending performance requirements and related training certificates,” Daza stressed.
Daza hopes that the issue merits attention.
“To quote an esteemed American educator, there is indeed great injustice in telling our youth that education is the key, while the supposed educators continue to change the lock,” he said.
“It is my sincere hope that this privilege speech would be but the first step in unlocking a more enlightened and inclusive path for our graduates and professionals,” he said.