Bill eyes free board exams for poor 

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A BILL that seeks to waive fees for civil service and professional licensure examinations for poor Filipinos has been filed at the Senate. 

Senate Bill 1323 or the Free Professional Examinations Act aims to help poor Filipinos find jobs and improve employment in the country, according to a copy of the measure. 

“It saddens me to think that some of our graduates will not be able to apply what they studied for just because they cannot afford to pay for the examination fee to get their professional license or civil service eligibility,” Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, the bill’s author, said in a statement on Thursday. 

The bill will only provide the exemption to people who have no visible means of income or support, or whose income is not enough. This is the Social Welfare department’s definition of a poor Filipino. 

Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) licensure exam fees range from P400 to P1,300 depending on the type of test. 

A total of 633,551 examinees took board exams last year, 311,381 of whom were first-time takers, according to PRC. 

The Philippine jobless rate eased to 4.2% in November, the lowest in 17 years. 

“We are determined to look for solutions in fighting unemployment woes in the country, which is why we are pushing for measures such as this to help ensure that every Filipino will not only have a job but a quality job which fits their qualifications,” Mr. Villanueva said.