House Approved Bill Waiving PRC and CSC Exam Fees for Indigent College Graduates

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In a unanimous decision, the House of Representatives has approved House Bill 9859, a bill that aims to provide free access to the Professional Regulation Commission’s (PRC) licensure examination and Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) eligibility examination for qualified indigent college graduates. This approval came during the bill’s second and final reading.

The proposed bill for free examinations for financially disadvantaged graduates (HB No. 9859) was initially introduced during the 19th Congress in August 2022. The bill mandates the PRC and CSC to exempt examination fees for eligible indigent examinees.

The indigents are identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as those whose income may “not be sufficient to meet their family’s basic needs.”

With 274 lawmakers voting in favor, Chairperson Kristine Alexie Tutor of the House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation emphasized the necessity for collaboration between the PRC and the DSWD to eliminate the “financial barrier” posed by licensure examination fees for indigent college graduates.

Rep. Tutor also noted that the PRC licensure exam costs PHP 900, while the CSC eligibility exam costs PHP 500, enough to make “poor college graduate think twice or hesitate to take the board exam after graduating from college.”

Furthermore, if the bill is enacted, aspiring examinees would be required to obtain a Certificate of Indigency from the DSWD to qualify for the free board examination privilege. Rep. Tutor emphasized that this privilege can only be availed of “once a year.”

Once the certificate is given, it will then be submitted to the PRC and CSC before the approval for the free exams can be granted.

Rep. Kristine Tutor also highlighted the possible impact of HB 9859, stating that it “may benefit tens of thousands [of] indigent, especially those who are graduates of state universities and colleges, beneficiaries of the CHED Tertiary Education Subsidy, and of the DSWD 4Ps.”

This represents a significant step towards fostering inclusivity and providing equal opportunities for all aspiring board passers. (Article written & contributed by: Bjork Ilagan)

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