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Rep. Duterte wants waived licensure exam fees for indigents

Friday, July 28, 2023

First Congressional District Communication and Information Office

Rep. Duterte wants waived licensure exam fees for indigents

QUEZON CITY - First Congressional District Representative Paolo Duterte has proposed that qualified indigents be allowed to take the bar and other  licensure examinations for free to ensure that financial incapacity would not be an obstacle  for any  Filipino aspiring to become  a professional in their chosen field of study. 


Duterte said House Bill (HB) 4927, which he had filed with Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, aims to provide this benefit to graduates from poor families  “in order to level the playing field amongst all future professional examination takers.”


“Since the  sole purpose of licensure examinations is to determine whether one has  enough knowledge and experience  to perform his or her chosen profession,  being unable to pay the licensure exam fees should not be a barrier  for any exam taker,” Duterte and Yap said. 


With the start of the Congress’ 2nd Regular Session, Duterte  and Yap urged their colleagues to swiftly act on the bill so that it could  soon  benefit indigents who will take the licensure examinations administered by the  Professional  Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the Bar Examinations conducted by the Supreme Court (SC). 


The PRC currently charges between P450 to P1,050 for takers of the various licensure examinations it administers in the fields of health, business, education, social sciences, engineering and technology. 


For the CSC, the fee for the Career Service Examination for Professional and Sub-Professional Levels is P500. 


The non-refundable Bar Application Fee as of this year is P12,800. 

 

Duterte said these fees add to the financial burden of graduates who also  have to shell out money for  even higher expenses to review for the board exams. 


Under HB 4927, “qualified indigents” refer to “persons with no visible means of income or support, or whose income may not be sufficient for the subsistence or basic needs of his family, as may be determined by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).” 


The bill requires an applicant to secure a certification as a qualified indigent from the DSWD to be able to take the licensure examinations free of charge. The waived licensure exam fee may be availed by the qualified indigent only once a year. 


To determine its   effectiveness and social impact, the DSWD, PRC, CSC and the SC  shall submit an annual report  to both houses of Congress indicating the number of beneficiaries of the measure.

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