The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) plays a significant role in the attainment of the core and relevant agenda/ plans of the Duterte administration, such as the Social Development Agenda under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, the 8-Point Labor and Employment Agenda, and the 10-Point Socioeconomic Agenda.
In order to align the Commission’s existing programs and projects with the aforementioned plans/ agenda and in keeping with the policy direction under President Duterte’s Social Contract with the Filipino people, as well as in compliance with various policies that ensure the effective and timely delivery of key services and availability of information to clients and the general public, such as Republic Act No. 11032, otherwise known as the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018” and Executive Order No. 02 (s. 2016) on Freedom of Information, 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, efficient, and decent work.
Continuing Impact Assessment of PRC/ PRBs Rules and Procedures
PRC, with the Professional Regulatory Boards (PRBs), perform licensure, regulatory and disciplinary, and quasi-judicial functions per its mandate, and as such follows and implements laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.
Review and regulatory impact assessment (RIA) of its existing rules, policies and procedures governing/ guiding the execution of the Commission’s functions is conducted to ensure that the same remain relevant, adequate, and responsive to the needs of the time. Further, this will help assist the Commission identify lacks and develop, review, and/or improve regulation practices in accordance with relevant laws.
The process entails proper methodology, including the conduct of historical data analysis, impact assessments, and stakeholders’ consultations to determine potential effects of proposed policies, regulations, and rules, as well as to afford the agency other options or interventions in achieving institutional targets and objectives.
The program in its entirety is crucial to PRC as it issues and implements regulatory policies affecting a major sector of our society, the professionals, who provide services that affect the daily living of the public.
Implementation of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
The CPD is a significant component in the maintenance and enhancement of competence of all professionals as it is primarily concerned with the inculcation of advanced knowledge, skills and ethical values.
Pursuant to Republic Act No. 10912, otherwise known as the “Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act of 2016,” the CPD program strives to continuously improve the quality of the country’s reservoir of registered and regulated professionals by updating them on the latest and relevant scientific, technological, ethical, and other applicable trends, knowledge, skills, and practices in the local and global practice of professions. It also provides support to lifelong learning in the enhancement of competencies of Filipino professionals towards ethical delivery of quality services and aligns these developmental activities with the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) for national relevance and global compatibility and competitiveness.
Now mandatory in the renewal of the Professional Identification Card (PIC) of the professions regulated by the PRC, various activities are being done by the Commission, including: the evaluation of qualifications and capability of applicant as accredited CPD provider and of the quality of accredited CPD provider’s programs for accreditation and provision of credit units therefor; the monitoring of CPD providers and of the CPD programs to ensure relevance and compliance; and the evaluation of and granting of credit units for self-directed and/or life-long learning.
In view of the issuance of PRC Resolution No. 2019-1146 (s. 2019) entitled “Amending Relevant Provisions of Resolution No. 1032 (s. 2017) otherwise known as the “Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 10912, known as the CPD Act of 2016”” providing for a transition period for the implementation of the CPD Act of 2016, the following activities shall also be undertaken this 2019:
- Conduct of capacity building and orientation on the implementation of the aforementioned Resolution;
- Issue and disseminate guidelines on the implementation of the CPD program;
- Issue Operational Guidelines of the regulated professions during the transition period of the CPD implementation; and
- Report on the number of accredited CPD Providers, Programs and number of professionals attended for monitoring purposes.
Strengthening the Commission’s Quasi-Judicial Function
The Commission receives legal complaints against professionals and parties claiming to be licensed professionals, and conducts investigations and hearings for the administrative cases filed, as well as on incidents and matters arising from the conduct of licensure examinations and other functions of the Commission and the PRBs.
To speedily resolve the numerous cases received and to effectively and efficiently execute the activities relative to its quasi-judicial functions, the Commission, through the Legal Service, shall embark on the following:
- Case Declogging Project, through streamlining of procedures and hiring of more lawyers, to help decongest the abundant number of cases that the Commission has received and accumulated through the years;
- Introduction of new Records Management System and implementation of the Legal Management Information System to enhance the monitoring and security of case folders; and
- On illegal practice, the Commission is set on working on an arrangement with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for the investigation and prosecution of complaints.
Supporting the PRBs in Licensure, Disciplinary, and Visitorial Functions
Republic Act No. 8981, otherwise known as the “PRC Modernization Act of 2000”, and the Professional Regulatory Laws (PRLs) mandate the PRBs to execute licensure and regulatory and disciplinary functions, as well as other laws that enjoins them to promote and implement policies that would help enhance the skills, knowledge, and quality of service of licensed professionals under their respective jurisdictions.
The PRBs, as partners of the Commission in the execution of the aforementioned, are significantly involved in the processes and activities relative thereto and are therefore fully supported in the discharge of their functions, especially in the following:
- Licensure - Includes crafting a Table Specification of Test Questions based on Outcome-Based Education (OBE), conduct of peer review and item analysis, etc.
- Regulation/Disciplinary and Visitorial – Includes the issuance of PIC to new professionals (Initial Registration), renewal of PIC of licensed professionals, duplicate of PIC and Professional License, conduct of inspection and monitoring, issuance of Certificate of Compliance/ Accreditation, issuance if Authority to Operate, etc.
Providing Proactive Measures for Public Assistance and Information, Including Social Media
PRC, in adherence and in support to the principles on good governance and practices, as well as in compliance with Republic Act No. 11032, otherwise known as the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018”, and Executive Order No. 2 (s. 2016) on Freedom of Information, shall undertake proactive measures to ensure that the public have access to relevant information.
The Commission shall ensure the availability of various modes through which queries may be sent to and addressed, and information/ documents may be requested. The official website and official social media accounts, i.e., Facebook and Twitter, are used as platforms to deliver relevant information and announcements, and as venue where clients and the general public may be assisted online. Information and/or documents may also be requested subject to the rules of the Commission on the Freedom of Information and Republic Act No. 10173.
Further, Public Assistance/ Information and Complaints Desks (PACD) are accessible in the Offices to assist clients on-site.
Development, Implementation, and Deployment of New Systems
To further 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 has made one of its priorities the improvement and strengthening of its existing eService projects and the development of additional eServices/ systems that would ensure better and more efficient provision of services to its clienteles, in response to the needs of the time.
Currently, the following are the focus systems/ ICT projects of the Commission, in adherence to the PRC Information System Strategic Plan (ISSP) for 2018-2020:
NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE REHABILITATION
This project aims to provide the internet connectivity specifically in the processing of PRC online transactions, and to connect all PRC support application systems to all PRC Offices and Service Centers nationwide.
INTERACTIVE ARCHIVAL STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL OF RECORD SYSTEM
This project is a document automation and management system that converts PRC’s physical permanent records to digital softcopy, extracts important information from each of these documents with automatic generation of metadata that will lessen, if not eliminate, manual data entry and stores it for easy retrieval. The system also provides an easier (electronic) access to documents, files, records, thereby eliminating handling of actual paper documents.
CENTRALIZED DOCUMENT TRACKING SYSTEM
This project is a windows-based or intranet-based application system that will handle internal communication within the PRC Central Office and Regional Offices. It will provide an automated, electronic workflow system for a paperless or less-paper system, and will also track any document from its creation-transmission-approval-distribution-storage-archiving-reporting, and other related processes.
QUEUE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR KEY FRONTLINE SERVICES
This project aims to enhance customer service and improve efficiency in the delivery of key PRC frontline services. Dashboards shall be made available on a computer monitor to provide a range of information, such as dynamic queue length and waiting time data.
Completing the PRC Reorganization
In its commitment to provide quality and professional service to the public through the enhancement of administrative capacity, delineation of staff from line functions, promotion of decentralization, enhancement of linkages among Professional Regulatory Boards and stakeholders, and infusion of knowledge management and client focus into frontline operations, the “PRC Reorganization” shall continue. Plantilla personnel are promoted and qualified contractual staff regularized, thereby increasing the organization’s strength and significantly augmenting and invigorating the current manpower complement.
The Commission is also aiming for Level II accreditation for the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM).
The renovation project of PRC 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 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. The Commission shall continue to invest in the needed equipment, furniture and other assets in line with this thrust. The following shall be undertaken for year 2019:
- Replacement of Elevator
- Painting of PRC Building
- Installation of Emergency Fire Exit Door.
Further, the construction of the PRC building in Pasay City is expected to be completed by January 2021.
Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF)
As one of the agencies mandated under Republic Act No. 10968 or the “Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) Act”, the PRC shall be responsible for the international alignment under PQF IRR.
The PQF describes the levels of educational qualifications and sets the standards for qualification outcomes. It is a quality assured national system for the development, recognition and award of qualifications based on standards of knowledge, skills and values acquired in different ways and methods by learners and workers of the country.
The Commission, being one of the member agencies of the PQF National Coordinating Council (PQF-NCC), is the lead for the Working Group on International Alignment (WG on IA). The functions of the WG on IA includes the conduct of researches/ studies for comparability/ benchmarking of the Philippine qualifications with other countries and regional/ international groupings, and the coordination with professional organizations in the pursuit of mutual recognition arrangements/ agreements.
PRC convenes with all concerned PRBs to monitor and map their progress, likewise to identify points of intervention where the Commission may have to come in.
The Commission shall continue its collaboration with agencies of government on issues concerning the professions and professionals, particularly on initiatives to enhance the practice of Filipino professionals overseas, as well as to regulate domestic practice by foreign professionals. It shall work with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the inclusion of mutual recognition in their priority measures, and with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the welfare of professionals working here and abroad.
The project is in compliance with Executive Order No. 605, series of 2007 and DOLE Memorandum Order No. 42-18, series of 2013. Its implementation is in line with the Commission’s compliance with the ISO 9001:2015 standards and its policy to continuously improve the processes of its frontline and support services.
The Commission shall endeavor to maintain its certification under the 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS), paving the way to further improving its systems for certification to the latest ISO QMS.