Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao on Sunday called for the resumption of the Professional Regulation Commission board exams “soon” in a bid to prevent manpower supply disruptions and to get more people working to revive the economy.
“One year of suspended board exams is understandable and would have minimal impact on the supply of licensed professionals. However, two years of having no board exams would have adverse impact on the workforce, companies and the economy,” he said.
The PRC suspended the licensure examinations this year, saying it could be looking at resumption of the board exams in the second half of 2021.
“We have manpower shortages and oversupply. The shortages are what I am worried about. All those build-build-build and housing backlogs need engineers, architects, master plumbers, and master electricians. Two years of no board exams for those professions will be felt at workplaces everywhere,” Siao said.
“I think board exams can resume safely in modified general community quarantine areas and in more spacious locations so that up to two meters of physical distancing can be followed, along with the use of face masks, face shields and other precautions. Campuses of the state universities and colleges would be suited for having safe board exams,” he added.
He said if the best case scenarios happen with the availability of the vaccines locally by the second quarter of next year, it does not look like school year 2021-2022 would open in June, July, August or even September.
“What is more likely to happen is school opening by October or November 2021,” he noted.
Should campuses reopen for face-to-face classes, it is probable the reopening would be gradual starting with the college level and graduate school level, he noted.
“Thereafter, the senior high schools, followed by the junior high schools, and lastly, the kinder to grade six,” he said.
He said slternatives are being threshed out by the education agencies.
Although the education agencies have been going through intense bashing in social media and news media, the criticisms and fault hurled against them for flawed modules and tests are more the exception rather than the norm, he said.
“The push for academic freeze has been strong, but the dominant sense among the education leaders has been to continue with learning activities however difficult they may be given the great limitations of our internet and telecommunications services. I defer to their expertise and wisdom on these matters. Ultimately, the individual decision on whether to continue or stop attending online classes is up to the parents and students.