Press Release
September 20, 2021


Please allow me Mr. President to make a manifestation on the notorious postponement of various licensure examinations, particularly the Licensure Examination for Teachers or LET.

Mr. President, I beg your indulgence because this issue is close to my heart, and we have been beating the drum on this issue since the pandemic started!

Last night, the PRC postponed the LET for the fourth time in NCR, Lucena, Romblon, and Butuan, only seven days before the scheduled examination this coming Sunday, September 26, 2021. The postponements and cancellations have been going on for almost two years now.

And yes, seven days is longer than just two days before the examination dates, like what happened in the Physician Licensure Examinations earlier this month.

Let me stress, Mr. President, that we understand the health risks of conducting board examinations. We also recognize that the PRC depends on the decision of the IATF. We are aware of those, Mr. President.

Let me only name a few among many things that this representation does not understand. The PRC seems to lack humane consideration. The Commission announces new examination schedules months in advance - eight (8) months ahead in the case of September 2021 LET - only to be canceled a few days before the exam date.

Paasa. 'Yan po ang description sa PRC ngayon ng ating mga kababayan. Ang problema, Mr. President, hindi lang naman po kumukuyakoy na naghihintay sa bahay ang mga examinees. Nagbabayad po ang mga 'yan sa mga review centers, hindi pa kasali ang non-refundable Php 900-pesos application fee nila sa PRC, at higit sa lahat hindi sila makapag-apply ng trabaho dahil wala silang mga lisensiya!

Mr. President, the PRC also required a 14-day quarantine certificate, a medical certificate, and a negative RT-PCR Test out-of-pocket expense from our examinees. In the case of LET, many have already been undergoing "quarantine" when the PRC announced cancellation last night. It's too unfortunate for examinees who even took a leave of absence from work.

Mr. President, as I've said, the notorious cancellations of board exam schedules have been going on for two years now. Out of the 101 board examinations scheduled this year, only 24 have pushed through.

The PRC seems stuck in its old ways, Mr. President. And we have been asking them about their plans in conducting board exams amid the new normal. We thank our colleague from Cavite and Chairman of the Committee on Civil Service, Senator Bong Revilla, for hearing our Senate Resolution No. 661 last week.

Unfortunately, all we heard from PRC is their "plan" to migrate their examinations online. Early this year, sinabi na rin po nila sa atin na may ganyan nga silang plano in a letter dated April 12, 2021. Alam po natin 'yung mga limitation sa batas kaya hindi makapag-innovate ang PRC to respond to the "new normal". Hindi naman sila nagbibigay ng proposals on how we can help them. Wala rin po sa proposed budget nila for next year ang full computerizations ng mga board examinations.

Lahat po ito sa kabila ng alinsunod sa PRC Modernization Act of 2000, dapat ay 2003 pa fully computerized ang lahat ng PRC board examinations.

Dalawang taon nang kinakansela ng PRC ang LET. Ibig sabihin, dalawang taon na ring nakatengga ang mga teacher graduates at hindi makapaghanap ng trabaho o makapagpa-rank sa DepEd. Hindi rin po tuloy makapag-renew ng kontrata ang mga Senior High School Teachers ng DepEd na may provisional employment at kailangang-kailangan nang makapag-LET. For the record, inilapit po natin ang isyung ito sa PRC as early as March 15, 2021.

Mr. President, "wait and see" lang po ang komisyon. While our colleges and universities continue to churn out graduates through flexible learning, PRC is stuck in its old ways hindering employment for our fresh graduates.

The PRC repeatedly said they are ever ready to conduct board exams "anytime" but they only comply with the IATF resolution. Is the PRC not aware that the "new normal" is already in our midst for two years now? When will they realize that we can no longer return to the old ways?

Mr. President, I hope that the PRC will take advantage of the opportunity that this crisis offers for innovation and fresh thinking.

Again, thank you for your indulgence, Mr. President and dear colleagues. God bless us all.

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