The PRC plays a very significant role in the attainment of the social development agenda under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) and 8-Point Labor and Employment Agenda of the Duterte Administration. In order to align existing programs and projects with the aforementioned agenda and in keeping with the new mandate and policy direction under President Dutertes’s Social Contract with the Filipino people, and in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo R, Duterte to ensure timely delivery of government service to the clients and to avoid long queues in government offices, the PRC has continuously pursued the following thrusts and priority programs as its contribution to the achievement of the country’s macroeconomic goal of inclusive growth through productive and decent work.
- ISO Certification for the Central and Regional Offices
The program is in compliance with Executive Order No. 605 series of 2007, and DOLE Memorandum Order No. 42-18 series of 2013, and in line with the Commission’s policy to continuously improve the processes of frontline and support services.
The implementation of the QMS aims to affirm the Commission’s compliance with the ISO 9001:2008 standards in the Central and Regional Offices.
The stage two audit by Certification International Philippines, Inc. (CIP) as Certifying Body for ISO 9001:2008 for PRC, was held from June 1 to June 3, 2016 at the PRC Central Office. And in view of the findings of Minor Non-Conformities and Opportunities for Improvements of the CIP, the various divisions of PRC will submit its compliance of the nine (9) minor non-conformities on July 11, 2016.
- Implementation of the approved PRC Organization Structure and Staffing Pattern, including human resource strengthening
To enable the agency to effectively pursue its mandate and critical functions as provided by R.A. 8981 (PRC Modernization Act of 2000), a reorganization of its organizational structure and staffing pattern is necessary. The reorganization will enhance administrative capacity, delineate staff from line functions, promote decentralization, attract competent staff and enhance linkages among Professional Regulatory Boards and stakeholders, and infuse knowledge management and client-focused into frontline operations.
The Department of Budget and Management in its letter of June 8, 2016 approved the creation of 21 Divisions and the revised staffing pattern comprised of 1,075 positions. Likewise, DBM endorsed to the Office of the President the creation of 7 services/offices and the creation, reclassification and conversion of various Director positions in the Central and Regional Offices. The corresponding Notice of Organization, Staffing and Compensation Action (NOSCA) shall be issued by DBM except those positions that are still subject to the approval of the President.
The Commission has created a Reorganization Placement Committee to implement the approved PRC Organization Structure and staffing pattern.
- Improvement of the computerization of PRC processes, further develop the database, and continue to digitalize/archive records
To promote good governance through eGovernance mechanisms, to provide IT enabled customer-focused services while adhering to strict standards of integrity, quality, speed, accuracy and convenience, and to make PRC services available and accessible anytime and anywhere, PRC’s thrust to improve and strengthen its existing eServices projects and to develop additional eServices that would ensure better and more efficient services to its clientele is needed.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (formerly DOST-ICTO ) endorsed the PRC Information Systems Strategic Plan (ISSP ) 2015-2017 last January 22, 2016, signed by USec. Louis Napoleon C. Casambre. The PRC ISSP 2015-2017 outlines how to use ICT resources systematically and streamline the internal work processes of the Commission for efficient public service delivery. It ensures, likewise, proper utilization of IT resources and effective ICT management, that is, deploying the right technology in the right way for the right cause.
The core projects/programs in the ISSP are Enhancement and modernization of the Licensure and Registration Information System (LERIS) Project, Enhancement of PRC Web Portal, improvement of the Network Security Enhancement and Local Area Network (LAN).
The components of the LERIS project are 1) Online Application System (OAS); 2) Online Registration (initial/renewal) System (ORRS); 3) Electronic Payment and Collection System (EPCS); 4) Test Question Databank System (TQDS); 5) Correction And Releasing System (CRS); 6) Centralized Records Management Information System (CRMIS); 7) Legal Management Information System (LMIS); and 8) Continuing Professional Development Accreditation System (CPDAS).
The OAS, ORRS and EPCS modules are implemented and scheduled to be bidded out for enhancement based on the improved business requirements of the Commission.
The User Acceptance Test documents for the LMIS and CPDAS are scheduled for signing.
The bidding is set for the Enhancement of PRC Web Portal , and Network Security Enhancement and Local Area Network (LAN) Improvement , pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act).
- Build-up of the PRC public assistance /information
The Commission, in adherence to and support of the principles of good governance and practices, and in compliance with Anti-Red Tape Act had established the Public Assistance/Information and Complaints Desk (PADC) in the Central and Regional offices. It assigned personnel as officer-of-the day to render assistance/receive complaints, comments or suggestions from the transacting public.
Also, in line with the President’s directive to ensure timely services, the Commission designated a hotline number, and created twitter and official facebook account to assist students, professionals, government agencies, companies and institutions about PRC services, policies and guidelines, and to provide updates on the regulated professions.
- Continued impact assessment of PRC/PRBs laws, regulations, policies and procedures
The PRBs perform regulatory functions in the full exercise of their regulatory powers as mandated by their respective laws. In this regard, there is a need for the PRC to institutionalize the conduct of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) of its existing rules, regulations and policies to ensure that same remain relevant and responsive to the needs of the time. The impact assessment will also assist the Boards and the Commission to develop, review and improve better regulation in accordance with regulatory best practices. The process entails proper methodology, including analysis, impact assessments and stakeholder consultation to determine potential effects of a proposed policy regulation as well as afford the agency other options or interventions to achieve the same institutional target or objective.
This process is crucial to PRC as it issues regulatory policies affecting a major segment of the society, the professionals.
- Reinforce PRBs (including the filling-up of vacancies)
In 2013, invoking Section 9, Article I of E.O. No. 496, the Commission through Resolution No. 2013-737 created a Screening Committee to assist PRC in speeding up the conduct of the selection of applicants to the PRBs as chairperson/s, vice chairperson/s, or members. The Screening Committee which is composed of members from the professional organization, professional excellence awardees, outstanding professional organizations, academe, etc. are empowered to accept applications, screen applicants, and conduct of background checks and investigations on the nominee/applicants to PRBs. However, the required composition was proven to be difficult to convene and the process entails additional cost, thereby defeating the purpose for which the Committee was created. To address the issue, a Commission Resolution was issued to repeal PRC Resolution No. 2013-737 and instead the Commission shall exercise its function under Section 7 (i) of R.A. 8981 to rationalize and expedite the selection and recommendation of Members to the Professional Regulatory Boards.
At present, there are 106 PRB vacancies, 19 unfilled and 87 in hold-over capacity. The Commission needs additional funding for the honoraria of the would-be appointed nominees to vacant PRB positions.
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
The CPD is a very important component of the maintenance and enhancement of competence of all professionals. The CPD strives to : a) continuously improve the quality of the country’s reservoir of registered professionals by updating them on the latest scientific/technological/ethical and other applicable trends in the local and global practice of the professions; b) provide support to lifelong learning in the enhancement of competencies of Filipino professionals towards delivery of quality and ethical services both locally and globally; and c) deliver quality continuing professional development activities aligned with the Philippine Qualification Framework (PQF) for national relevance and global comparability and competitiveness.
The components of the CPD program include: 1) evaluation of qualifications and capability of an applicant for accreditation as CPD provider; 2) evaluation of the quality of CPD provider’s program for accreditation and provision of credit units for the program; 3) monitoring of the CPD providers periodically during the validity of its accreditation; 4) monitoring of all the CPD programs to ensure compliance; and 5) granting credit units for self -directed and/or lifelong learning.
With the approval of R.A. No. 10912 otherwise known as the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016, the CPD is made as a mandatory requirement in the renewal of professional identification cards (PICs) of all registered and licensed professionals under the regulation of PRC.
The implementation of the provisions of the CPD law needs funding requirements to be used for the regular operations of the CPD Councils, including the monitoring of the conduct of the CPD Programs, travel, honorarium/allowances, and per diems of the CPD Council when attending official CPD Council meetings or performing other related functions assigned to them.
- Establishment of PRC Service Centers to decongest PRC premises and provide convenience to the transacting public
On June 13, 2016, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), and the Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC), was signed for the opening of rent free furnished PRC Service Centers in the following selected Robinsons Malls nationwide in order to provide additional and convenient delivery of PRC services, especially to Filipino professionals: 1) Robinson’s Galleria, 2) Robinsons Place Manila, 3) Robinsons Place Santiago, 4) Robinsons Place Iloilo, 5) Robinsons Place Bacolod, 6) Robinsons Place Dumaguete, 7) Robinsons Galleria Cebu, 8) Robinsons Place Butuan, 9) Robinsons Place Gensan, and 10) Robinsons Place Tacloban. Likewise, the National Economic and Development Authority has also invited the PRC to establish a Service Center at the proposed government Center at the Clark Special Economic Zone on a rent-free arrangement.
- Rehabilitation of the Central Office (electrical and building) including equipment
- Renovation of PRC Central Building
The renovation project of the Commission is in response to the infrastructure related-issues and critical areas for improvement which were identified during the ISO 9001:2008 third party audit and ARTA Report Card Survey. This undertaking therefore reflects the Commission’s priority thrust to provide a customer-focused service for improved service delivery, as well as safe, secure and hazard-free working environment for optimum performance of the employees.
- Confidential Printing Room (CPR)
The Confidential Printing Room is where test questions for 43 Professions are printed and reproduced mostly twice a year. The Chairmen and Members of the Professional Regulatory Boards and PRC staff are quarantined inside the CPR prior to and during the conduct of their respective licensure examinations. The existing conditions are way below the standard quality to be considered proper working environment.
- Rating Division
This includes the conversion of the PRB locker room into sleeping quarters, repairs of comfort room, and repair of the Encoding/Merging Room. Through this project, safety and protection of employees and the PRBs are ensured during quarantine period for the correction, checking and printing of examination results.
- Registration Division
The outdated and dilapidated tables, chairs and transaction counters need to be replaced to provide corporate image and for a more efficient workflow and productivity.
- Records Division
For more effective physical security, preservation and protection of vital records of the Commission, the improvement of the existing storage facilities and its ventilation is necessary. Elevating the racks to protect records against flooding, and the construction of concrete walling is likewise necessary..
- Office of the Professional Regulatory Boards (PRBs) at Main Building
The present office space provided for the 165 Professional Regulatory Boards Chairmen and Members where they perform their duties, functions and responsibilities are used for meetings, leaving them without appropriate or suitable office spaces. The rehabilitation of space and provision of appropriate furniture will provide them adequate working area in a more strategic location for easy access for the PRBs, a majority of whom are senior citizens. The secretaries will be located in the same area for more efficient assistance to the PRBs.
- Rehabilitation of Electrical System
Electrical System of PRC was audited by the Institute of Electrical Engineers and found it that the system is dilapidated and compounded by improper electrical connections. This resulted in high electrical consumption and leaves the system in a potentially dangerous state. There is a need to correct violations and to replace dilapidated conduits, wires, cables, devices and fixtures.
- Confidential Printing Room (CPR)
- Lease of Office Space
The expected increase of at least 60% in the number of personnel in the Central/NCR office as a result of the recent approval by the Department and Budget and Management of the PRC Organizational Structure and staffing pattern requires us to lease a larger office space to accommodate the employees. Also, a major infrastructure renovation and repairs, and rehabilitation of electrical system will be undertaken in the Central Office thus affected offices will be temporarily relocated.
The Commission will be needing an amount to fund for the lease of space for the relocation until the renovation of the Central Office has been completed.
- Construction of PRC Building in Pasay City
The PRC and the 43 Professional Regulatory Boards (PRBs) have been housed in the building which was built long before the PRC was created in 1973. The building has reached its obsolescence and has become an image of unprofessionalism among the professionals and other stakeholders.
Likewise, the new PRC staffing pattern under the reorganizational plan will create new positions that will certainly require bigger and wider space to accommodate the employees. Also, the role of the PRBs is continuously expanding due to multilateral, bilateral and other international trade agreements where the Philippines is a signatory and this requires constant coordination with stakeholders.
The new PRC building which will be constructed in a 4,860 square meter lot in Pasay City is envisioned to project an image of professionalism and transparency in line with its mission and vision, reinforcing its role in the development of ethical and globally competitive Filipino professionals.
The Multi-year Obligational Authority amounting to 999M for building construction was issued on December 23, 2015. The amount of 508M was already released to DPWH to cover the Architecture and Engineering Design and initial phase of the construction of the building. A Technical Working Group (TWG) was also constituted composed of selected Professional Regulatory Board Chairpersons and Members. The TWG will prepare the outline specifications and minimum performance standards for their respective disciplines as part of the TOR.
- Renovation of PRC Central Building
- Mutual Recognition Agreements/Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRA/MRPQ) with ASEAN and other countries and bilateral agreements, reciprocity agreements, and other initiatives
PRC’s continuous and active participation in the negotiations and review of bilateral, multilateral or mutual recognition arrangement have been geared towards promoting and facilitating borderless practice of profession.
This program ensures that the Philippines will have coherent and international benchmarking structure for qualification awarded in the country that will serve as a source of accurate and effective information on a quality-assured registry of types and levels of qualification. It is a competency based qualification recognition system that will benefit the Filipino Professionals to secure their protection in destination countries.
The global mobility of the Filipino professional is facilitated through these international agreements. With these end in view, the program shall: a) Facilitate the recognition of our professional qualifications, licenses and competencies in foreign countries of destination; b) Ensure the full compliance of the requirements of Section 7 (j) of the PRC Modernization Act and the relevant regulatory laws prior issuance of Special Temporary Permits to foreign professionals; c) Provide advisory and technical assistance to the Commission and the Professional Regulatory Boards in the formulation of policies and negotiation positions for these international agreements, emerging or existing through stakeholder consultations; and d) Establish a global market information system on professional services to provide strategic support for labor and professional manpower development planning.
The program is continuous and evolving as this will require constant updating of professional qualifications to keep abreast with development of professional qualifications worldwide for our professional to be competitive in their professions.
The bulk of the expenditure of the program will be on the travel, image building of professionals, and other logistical activities engaging our foreign counterparts into meetings and negotiations. The travel referred to includes as well those to be undertaken locally for the capacity building of the staff of our 10 regional offices and local chapters of the Accredited Professional Organizations to strengthen the regulatory power of the Commission particularly in the issuance and monitoring of the Special Temporary Permits (STP).
The formulation of policies and negotiation positions including the development of global market information system on professional services will be realized in the consultations, meetings, negotiations and other fora to be undertaken locally or abroad.
- Special Professional Board Licensure Examinations (SPLBE)
The Executive Order 835 dated October 6, 2009 institutionalizes the conduct of board examination in the Middle East. The Department of Labor and Employment through the PRC, in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs through its Philippine Embassies and with the assistance from the Philippine Professional Organizations- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), hold and conduct SPLBE for the qualified overseas Filipino workers in KSA, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and other Middle East countries with whom the Philippines have diplomatic relations.
The Commission is also expanding its reach to its clients not just in the Middle East but in other countries where the demand for examination is high like Hong Kong and Singapore.
In 2015, a total of 2,719 examinees took the examinations in the Middle East, 509 in Hong Kong, and 142 in Singapore.
- Undertakings to boost database of professional employed/practicing abroad
Enhancement of the database of professionals is being employed through the online renewal of professional identification card, wherein employment information is a mandatory required field. This is to provide data and statistics on professionals as to status of employment, whether practicing or non-practicing, current location and other relevant information relative to the location and updated status of registered professionals.