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CHED lukewarm on proposal to scrap licensure exams

Christian Deiparine - Philstar.com
CHED lukewarm on proposal to scrap licensure exams
This undated file photo shows the Commission on Higher Education's office in Diliman, Quezon City
File

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education on Thursday warned of possible implications should the country remove its licensure exam in select programs, as it said further studies are needed on the proposal. 

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III had questioned the said requirement especially for nursing and law graduates. He said students under such programs have already taken many tests before graduating. 

But for CHED chairperson Prospero de Vera III, the exams are a crucial standard, as some also opt to work abroad after finishing studies.

"We do not operate independently of the whole global education system because some of our graduates practice their profession outside the country," he said at a briefing in Pampanga. 

Nurses have since objected to Bello's proposal as they said it was important to ensure that those handling lives would be competent enough.

The group Filipino Nurses United sought to stress too that scrapping the exams would be "perilous for people's health especially at this time of pandemic."

De Vera said some countries may not recognize Filipino graduates' degrees because they would then lack a requirement.

"So we don't want that it will happen much later on and it will be too late," he continued. 

The CHED chief added that the move should be based on empirical data. He said it should also be determined first if there is a lack of the said professionals in the country. 

"Another important thing to study is why are we doing this?" De Vera said in Filipino. "Is this because we lack teachers, lawyers, and nurses that's why there is a need to forego the licensure exam?"

He added: "As far as I know, there is no deficit in lawyers in this country. In fact, you can argue there is an oversupply of lawyers, so why are you lifting it?"

The Supreme Court has rejected as well the possibility of scrapping the Bar exams. Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said apart from tradition, it should be checked that those in the legal profession can perform their duties not only to the court but to society. 

De Vera said Bello's idea would make for a good discussion. But, he added it should come from data and take into account the issue of supply and demand. 

He added he would leave the matter for lawmakers to discuss as licensure exams are required by law, and are administered by the Professional Regulations Commission.  

COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION

LICENSURE EXAMS

PROSPERO DE VERA III

SILVESTRE BELLO III

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