Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday announced that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who wanted to take their board licensure examinations and enhance their edge and competitiveness, even if they are based overseas, can now do so at their pleasure.
Baldoz said the the Professional Regulation Commission has approved and issued Resolution No. 2011-627, series of 2011, revising the implementing guidelines on the conduct of Special Professional Licensure Board Examinations (SPLBE) for OFWs, pursuant to Republic Act No. 8981, otherwise known as the “Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) Modernization Act of 2000”, and Executive Order No. 835 dated October 9, 2009.
“The new guidelines is our way of bringing PRC programs and services closer to the people. It simplifies and makes faster official transaction with the PRC,” Baldoz said.
The PRC, an attached agency of the DOLE, has been conducting SPLBE overseas since 1997 to give qualified OFW applicants the opportunity to take the licensure exams while residing and working in the Middle East or other foreign countries without the need of returning to the Philippines.
“PRC Resolution No. 2011-627 directs the PRC and the Professional Regulatory Boards (PRBs) to conduct SPLBE with the active role and participation of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through its Embassies/Consulates and the DOLE, through its Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs),” Baldoz explained.
Baldoz said that with the new guidelines, the DOLE, PRC, and DFA would now be jointly responsible in the administration of the SPLBE overseas.
Under the new guidelines, OFW-applicants can submit requests for SPLBE through the overseas professional organizations or by OFW-applicants themselves to Philippine embassies or consulates through the POLOs.
“The POLOs will conduct a pre-registration of OFW-applicants in coordination with the overseas professional organizations or FILCOMs to determine the number of examinees expected to take the SPLBE,” said PRC chairman Teresita Manzala.
She said that after the pre-registration, embassies/consulates or the POLOs shall submit to the PRC data on the number of pre-registered OFW-applicants at least three months before the proposed dates of examinations.
The PRC shall then determine the dates and venues of examinations in coordination with the PRBs and this shall be communicated to the concerned embassies/consulates or POLOs, which can also recommend the venues.
Manzala said the dates of the examinations shall be as follows:
• For countries in the Middle East, during the observance of religious holidays;
• For other countries, as requested by Philippine Embassies/Consulates and as approved by the Commission.
Interested OFW-applicants wishing to take the SPLBE may download application forms for the examinations from the PRC Website, www.prc.gov.ph and submit the accomplished forms, together with the documentary requirements, to the POLOs for initial evaluation/screening. POLOs may request assistance of APOs/FILCOMs to check completeness of documents and establish the identity of applicants.