(PNA file photo)

MANILA – Senator Lito Lapid is pushing to exempt qualified indigent Filipinos from paying professional licensure examination fees.

After filing Senate Bill No. (SBN) 32, Lapid said on Wednesday that the existing Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which gives the youth an opportunity to acquire a better future by obtaining a college degree for free, is not enough adding that graduates need to pay fees to take professional licensure examinations.

“The fees range from PHP500 for civil service eligibility examinations with the Civil Service Commission to PHP600 for non-baccalaureate degree examinations with the Professional Regulatory Commission to PHP10,000 for the bar examinations,” Lapid said in a statement.

He said it came to his attention that in many instances, graduates opt to delay taking the examinations to be able to save up, which in turn diminishes the momentum they gained from the academe, making it more difficult for them to pass.

Malaking bagay po sa pamilyang Pilipino na magkaroon ng professional sa kanilang hanay. Hindi lamang po ito pinagmumulan ng karagdagang kabuhayan para sa kanila, ito ay nagbibigay karangalan at pag-asa sa kanila para sa lalong mabuting kinabukasan (It is a big deal for a Filipino family to have a professional in them. It is not only a source of livelihood for them, but an honor and hope for a brighter future),” Lapid said.

Makatutulong din po sa ating bansa na magkaroon ng mas maraming propesyunal na makapagpapataas ng kalidad ng ating workforce na kinikilala hindi lamang dito sa Pilipinas kundi sa buong mundo (It will also help our country to produce more professionals who will level up the quality of our workforce known not only in the Philippines, but also in the whole world),” the lawmaker added.

Under SBN 32, an examinee who wants to be exempted from the examination fee shall secure a certification from the Department of Social Welfare and Development that he/she is a qualified indigent.

Such certification shall be presented to the Professional Regulations Commission, the Civil Service Commission, or the Supreme Court of the Philippines, as the case may be, in lieu of the payment of examination fees. (PNA)