Labor Secretary Bello floats abolishment of licensure exams

·2 min read
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (Source: Department of Labor and Employment/Facebook)
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (Source: Department of Labor and Employment/Facebook)

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III questioned the need for professional licensure examinations and floated the idea of abolishing them on Wednesday (July 7).

In a recent media briefing, Bello proposed the idea, particularly for aspiring nurses and lawyers, claiming that they have already taken enough tests as students.

The labor secretary said he also suggested this during a meeting with some nursing associations.

"In my meeting with the Philippine Nurses Association and the [Philippine] Board of Nursing, I said, 'Why don't you recommend that we do away with examinations?" Bello said, partly in Filipino.

Napakamahal kumuha ng kursong nursing. Kukuha sila ng four years, after graduating, kukuha sila ng board exam. Bakit pa kailangan ng board exam eh ilang exam ang dinaanan nila sa nursing?” Bello told the media.

(Translation: It’s very expensive to take the nursing program. They’ll take it for four years, after graduating, they’ll have to take the board exam. Why do they need that when they’ve taken so many exams in the nursing program?)

Bello added that he might even recommend the measure to Congress.

“Sabi ko pag-aralan niyo ‘yan, and then we can recommend to Congress na tanggalin na ‘yang exam exam na ‘yan. Gastos sa ating mga nurses (I told them to review it and then we can recommend to Congress to remove those examinations. That’s only additional expenses for our aspiring nurses),” he said.

Bello went on to say that the same can be applied to other professions, such as law.

"Why don't we do away with Bar [exams]? Students have to take a four-year pre-law, four years of law education. They undergo rigorous scrutiny before they graduate, then still have to take the Bar? Some of those who top the Bar weren't necessarily good when practicing law," the labor secretary said.

Katakot-takot na pag-aaral ‘yan (They have already gone through intense studying),” he said. 

“Imagine, ‘yung eight years of studies mo (your eight years of studies) will be brought to naught just because you failed in passing the bar. Wala akong nakikitang katarungan doon eh (I don’t see any justice in that).”

Seemingly hinting about his post-2021 plans, Bello said the proposal would probably be his “pet bill” should he become part of Congress. He later clarified, however, that he still hasn’t made up his mind regarding the upcoming elections.

Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.

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