Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said on Friday that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the request of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to conduct examinations amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The IATF likewise approved the request of the Professional Regulation Commission to conduct and administer the licensure examinations for professionals scheduled for May and June 2021 following strict health protocols as approved by the Department of Health,” Roque said in a statement.
The IATF-EID, however, is strongly discouraging examinees situated in areas under general community quarantine from traveling to areas under modified general community quarantine to prevent Covid-19 transmission to low-risk areas.
PRC Chairman Teofilo Pilando Jr. said the commission would hold over 100 licensure exams this year to make up for the ones that were canceled last year because of the pandemic.
“Because only 11 exams were conducted last year compared to the 83 examinations in 2019 — to make up, we have scheduled 101 licensure examinations for 2021,” Pilado said in a television interview.
Pilado said given priorities were licensure exams for medical technology, sanitary engineer ing, veterinary medicine, social work, respiratory therapy, optometry and medicine.
Pilado said strict health protocols would be enforced, and examinees and examination personnel would be required to take a polymerase chain reaction test.
More examination venues will be made available across the nation to eliminate long travel and to reduce the per room capacity from 24 to just eight examinees.
Pilado said they were considering an online examination for metallurgy engineering and naval architecture.
“We are studying laws of each profession, as well as issues on privacy, security and then appropriate technology. Hopefully, we can conduct this before the end of the year, at least for the small boards, meaning boards where there are few examinees, so it will be more manageable,” he added.
In December last year, Iligan Rep. Frederick Siao called for the resumption of board examinations in 2021 to avoid manpower shortage amid the Covid-19 crisis.