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Thursday, February 22, 2024

PRC suspends ‘loan-tagging’ policy for job license renewal

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The Professional Regulation Commission has suspended its policy which tags teachers and professionals with pending administrative cases–including those stemming from complaints from loan firms – and prevents them from renewing their PRC licenses.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma announced on Sunday the suspension after he learned of the policy during a budget hearing at the House of Representatives last week.

ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. France Castro raised the issue of the so-called “utang-tagging” where a teacher can get tagged if a summons is issued owing to a complaint for non-payment of loans.

“This is illegal. You are tying the teacher to a complaint that has yet to be decided on. A teacher’s license doesn’t have anything to do with the case or the loan,” Castro said.

Laguesma told lawmakers he was unaware of the PRC policy but agreed that it “does not sound right” and immediately ordered its review.

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“How can they (teachers) pay what they borrow if they can’t work because the PRC won’t renew their licenses,” the Labor chief said.

The PRC is an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment.

Castro said teachers, mostly from Central Luzon, were tagged by the PRC. She said most of the teachers were victims of loan sharks.

PRC acting chairman Jose Cueto Jr. said while “utang-tagging” is suspended, the commission will be reviewing and conducting consultations with its various professional boards “with the aim of promoting efficiency and fairness in its processes and disciplinary procedures.”

Laguesma reminded the PRC that in reviewing its policy and disciplinary procedures, the commission “should focus its regulatory function on undesirable acts arising from the exercise of the professions.”

Every regulation should pass the test of reasonableness and should not be used to penalize professionals simply because of their socio-economic circumstances, Laguesma added.

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