PRC plans to reschedule September 2020 PLE Physician board exam

MANILA, Philippines – The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Board of Medicine is planning to move the second part of the postponed March 2020 Physician board exam in November this year instead of the regular September schedule.
PRC plans to reschedule September 2020 PLE

"We did stakeholders consultation with the PMA (Philippine Medical Association) and Association of Philippine Medical Colleges, all various deans are involved and training officers. The conclusion is, we will be continuing the second part of the March 2020 examination but it may not be this September," Dr. Clarita C. Maaño of the PRC Board of Medicine said during the virtual meeting with House panel on Tuesday, July 14.

"We are moving it to November, we have specific date ready if we are moving that to November," she added.

SEE ALSOPRC postpones September 2020 board exams: LET, REE, RME, among others

The Board of Medicine is currently studying the specific sites of the examinees of postponed March 2020 PLE.

"What we wanted at this time is for the examinees to write down their intention where they are going to take their exam. NCR is 1,236 examinees for the second part of the exam. We were thinking that for these examinees, we may be able to transfer them to get their exam on their sites [regional]. They are supposed to express it out until July 31," she said.

Maaño added that for those in the regular PLE, their plan is to conduct the exam in March 2021.

UPDATE: PRC finalizes schedule of 2020 PLE Physician board exam

“However, those in the regular examination, PLE (Physician Licensure Examination) exams, which means the existing interns at the moment or graduated interns. There are 3,500 of them. Our plan is to have them next year in the regular slot of March 2021,” she said.

PRC is also looking on the possibility of conducting computer-based exams.

"We had also asked various organizations and schools who are already engaged in online examinations," she said.

Maaño said the deadline of filing for the regular PLE is August 13. For the second part of PLE, which is about clinical courses, a memorandum will be released once finalized and signed by PRC Chairman Teofilo Pilando Jr.

SEE ALSO: New schedule of postponed March-June 2020 board exam bared

Appeal of March 2020 PLE examinees

Ed Robert Arnard, a representative from 1,485 examinees of March 2020 postponed PLE admitted that their "excitement to finally fullfill their dreams and to serve Filipino people with pride and dignity was replaced with the feelings of uncertainty and anguish."

"While we are one with the nation in fighting the COVID-19, we the March 2020 PLE examinees feel we could not fully and legally aid our citizens as we are halted from our licensure examinations," Arnard said.

"We humbly appeal from your good office to grant us the freedom and support to help the Philippines by allowing the advancement of the postponed March 2020 PLE as scheduled in September 20 and 21 with due safety measures set by the IATF. Only then we would be able to join the frontliners in full confidence and without the fear of discrimination," he expressed.

Compared with the September batch, the March regular schedule is less in number.

"Our smaller sample size can be used as an opportunity to observe and establish new normal in conducting future licensure examinations," he said.

Arnard also stressed that some of the examinees are stranded in Metro Manila and all of them are in high hopes that PLE will push through this September.

"We have a letter sent to the PRC, with over 700 plus signatories out of 1,485 examinees who wish to really push through PLE on September 20 and 21."

PRC issues on conduct of licensure exams

In the same panel discussion, PRC Chairman Teofilo Pilando Jr. discussed concerns and challenges being faced by the regulating agency.

Pilando cited there are nine examinations set for September 2020 and emphasized the following concerns:
  • availability of the examination venues
  • exam personnel
  • ever changing dynamic changes in the situation as defined by IATF

“The Commission and the Boards made some recommendations, one of which would be prioritization of the small scale examinations for the remaining part of the year, meaning those that would involve 1,000 more or less examinees,” Pilando said.

PRC and the Boards are also looking for computer-based board exams. "Unfortunately, that is not yet available for this year," he clarified.

The report also mentioned the issue of “under-boards” — meaning those who are not able to take exams because of the cancellations of the exams, according to Pilando.

Aside from the small scale exams, the committe agreed to focus on health-related board exams such as the physician, Qualifying Assessment for Foreign Medical Professionals, medical technologist (medtech), respiratory therapist, nurses and midwives, among others as needed in the continuing battle against COVID-19.

SEE ALSO: PRC grants CPD units to frontliners amid COVID-19 pandemic

DoH Assistant Secretary Kenneth Ronquillo, head of the IATF Secretariat, said they projected that they will need 13,949 doctors and nurses “to meet our requirements for our COVID response.”

— The Summit Express

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