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House OKs bill on free professional exams to qualified indigents

/ 07:18 PM March 04, 2024


The Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) announced on Tuesday that 4,458 out of 6,770 examinees passed the February 2024 Mechanical Engineers Licensure Examinations.






MANILA, Philippines — A bill that would provide free professional / licensure examinations to qualified indigents has been approved by the House of Representatives on third and final reading.

House Bill (HB) No. 9859 or the proposed Free Professional Examinations Act was approved after all 274 lawmakers voted in the affirmative, with zero negative votes and zero abstentions.

The bill, first filed in August 2022 during the 19th Congress, seeks to require the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to give free examinations to indigents identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) “whose income may not be sufficient for the subsistence or basic needs of the family”.

PRC is responsible for the administration of professional licensure examinations, while CSC provides tests for eligibility to work in government.

If enacted, an aspiring examinee will have to secure a Certificate of Indigency from DSWD, which will be forwarded to PRC and CSC before being allowed to take exams.  Approved applicants would be then exempt from paying examination fees.

Beneficiaries of the program will only be allowed to avail of the free examination once a year.


Last July 2023, Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte and Benguet Rep. Eric Yap asked that the House tackle the said bill, to ensure that financial woes would not hinder career aspirations.

Duterte and Yap filed HB No. 4927, one of the bills consolidated into HB No. 9859, last September 2020.

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When Duterte and Yap called on the House to tackle the measure, HB No. 4927 was still pending with the House Committee on civil service and professional regulation.

TAGS: Exams, House of Representatives

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