The Professional Regulation Commission was first created as a national government agency by Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 223 dated June 22, 1973, signed by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos. It was previously called the Office of the Boards of Examiners created by Republic Act No. 546 on June 17, 1950, under the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
The PRC became operational on January 4, 1974 with the assumption into office of the first set of appointed Commissioners and Associate Commissioners. That year, Arch. Eric C. Nubla assumed office as Commissioner. The PRC was placed under the Office of the President for general supervision and coordination. The Implementing Rules and Regulations of P.D. No. 223 was promulgated on December 9, 1974. Under P.D. 223, professional regulation was standardized for the thirty-three (33) professions then under the PRC. The PRC Coat-of-Arms designed by the Heraldry Commission was officially adopted on February 1. The CSC building at P. Paredes Street in Sampaloc, Manila became the PRC Main Building on February 12. The PRC started issuing certificates of registration in Filipino with English translation. Proclamation No. 1276 was issued declaring June 22 to 29 of the year as "Professional Consciousness Week." Computerization of the database of registered professionals started with the assistance of the National Computer Center.
In 1975, the PRC started issuance of computer-printed registration cards with one-year validity. It also started accrediting professional organizations. On October 11, 1975 Presidential Decree No. 839 was issued placing the PRC under the general direction and coordination of the CSC.
In August 1976, the PRC entered into an agreement with the Civil Service Commission to register all board examination passers as civil service eligibles pursuant to R.A. 1080, as amended.
In 1977, the PRC started issuing registration cards valid for 3 years pursuant to Letter of Instruction No. 567. The agency conferred the first "Outstanding Professional of the Year" awards. Proclamation No. 1646 was issued declaring June 22-29 of every year as "Professional Consciousness Week."
The year 1981 saw the completion and inauguration of the PRC Annex Building. In 1982, the PRC conducted mass oath-taking ceremonies of new professionals. The Specialty Board of Interior Design under the Board of Architecture was created.
In 1983, the Specialty Board of Landscape Architecture under the Board of Architecture was created. Two microcomputers are acquired in 1984 to start off computerization of Application, Registration and Examination System.
The PRC created the database of applicants for examinations in 1987. In 1988, the Board of Accountancy started the monitoring of performance of schools on licensure examinations. In 1990, partially-computerized licensure examinations started with the August physician licensure examinations using computerized answer sheets.
PRC developed the Test Questions Databank System in 1991. Partially-computerized licensure examinations started with the physician licensure examinations in August, followed by partially-computerized licensure examinations for midwives, accountants, medical technologists, and nurses. Enhanced partial computerization of licensure examinations was also implemented for marine deck and engine officers. During the same year, Executive Order No. 496 was signed by President Corazon C. Aquino instituting procedures and criteria for the selection and recommendation of nominees to vacant positions in the Professional Regulatory Boards. The first Commission Planning Conference was held.
In 1992, Atty. Hermogenes P. Pobre assumed office as Commissioner. Executive Order No. 200 was issued institutionalizing partial computerization for all licensure examinations. Computerized application forms were pilot-tested in the CPA licensure examination. In the same year, the PRC formulated its Information Systems Strategic Plan (ISSP) to computerize vital agency operations, leading to the partial computerization of licensure examinations for marine deck and engineer officers through a Test Question Databank System and computerized checking and rating of test results. The Commission implemented the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) for all professions and resumed the conferment of "Outstanding Professional of the Year" awards, which was discontinued from 1986 to 1991. The Commission also started the conferment of the "Outstanding Accredited Professional Organization of the Year" award. The first PRC Commission Planning Conference was held.
The year 1993 witnessed the implementation of fully-computerized examinations in fifteen professions through the Test Question Databank and correction of test papers by Optical Mark Reader. Lloyd's List commended the PRC for its computerization of the maritime examinations. Executive Order No. 56 placed the PRC, with thirty-seven (37) Professional Regulatory Boards and two (2) Specialty Boards and 271 staff, under the Office of the President. CPE was implemented in fifteen professions. Delinquent professionals were delisted from the rolls of registered professionals.
In 1994, Republic Act No. 7836 ("Philippine Teachers Professionalization Act") was enacted, transferring the regulation of the teaching profession from the CSC to the PRC. Enhanced partial computerization of licensure systems was mandated by Executive Order No. 200, leading to a dramatic decline in the release of examination results to an average of 70 days from 160 in the previous year. Computerized application forms were pilot-tested in the CPA licensure examination. PRC started conferment of "Outstanding Accredited Professional Organization of the Year" award.
In 1995, the Office for Professional Teachers was established. CPE Councils for each of the professions were constituted. Examination results were released in an average of 14.4 days from 70 days in 1994. PRC monitored the performance of schools in licensure examinations. President Fidel Ramos issued Executive Order No. 266 on July 25 institutionalizing CPE and making it mandatory for the renewal of professional license.
In 1996, decentralization of agency operations began with the full operations of regional offices in the cities of Baguio and Cebu. PRC Offices were also established in Legazpi, Cagayan de Oro and Davao. The first licensure examination for teachers in August was administered to 97,560 examinees. The Central Office Local Area Network was installed. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Coordinating Council for Services approved the Mutual Recognition Agreement proposal of the PRC. Licensure examination results were released in six days from an average of fourteen days in 1995. The First Conference of Professionals was held in June. Administrative Order No. 260 was issued in March further strengthening the CPE Councils by attaching them to the PRBs and providing for their personnel complement and Trust Fund. The Office of the CPE Councils was inaugurated on September 11.
The year 1997 saw the conduct of the Regional Management Conference with the approval of Regional Action Plans and the Operational Framework for Administration of Regional Offices. That year, the Regional Offices processed 59% of total applications for examinations. The Regional Coordinating Unit under the Office of the Chairman was established. The CPE was fully implemented for all professions with the issuance of Executive Order No. 266. Physical improvements were completed at the PABE Office, OFAS and frontline offices. A survey to gauge public awareness and perception towards the PRC was conducted nationwide. Licensure examination results were released in an average of 5 days. Guests from Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Mongolia visited the PRC to observe the computerized examinations and CPE programs.
In 1998, the PRC celebrated its Silver Anniversary with President Fidel V. Ramos as Guest of Honor and Speaker at the Awards Night. As it was the Philippine Centennial Year, the agency rededicated itself in the service of the Filipino nation and in nurturing the Filipino professionals for the 21st century. At the Annual Planning Conference in Subic Bay, the PRC formally adopted its Vision and Mission and its first Commission Strategic Plan. The Maritime Affairs Office (Marine Deck and Marine Engineer Officers Divisions and International Affairs Division) was created to cater exclusively to marine officers. The Quality Policy Manual of the maritime professions was promulgated while the Educational Statistics Task Force was established. The PRC Auditorium, Memorabilia Hall, PABE Library were inaugurated during the PRC Week celebration. PRC-Tuguegarao opened its doors to the public. That year, Regional Offices accounted for thirty-eight percent (38%) of total applications for examinations and for the first time released reports of ratings to examinees in the regions.
In 1999, the agency was formally awarded the ISO 9002 Certification by the Anglo-Japanese-American Environmental Quality and Safety Certification for licensing of marine deck and engineer officers. The database of marine officers was established in compliance with R.A. 8544. PRC signed memoranda of agreement with some colleges and universities in Manila to ferret non-qualified examinees with fake documents. The manualization of central and regional operations and compilation of Commission and PRB issuances started. The Regional Budget Program was adopted. PRC launched its website in tie-up an application service provider. Information dissemination campaign on CPE, licensure examinations, and test questions databanking system was conducted.
The year 2000 saw the approval of the PRC Modernization Act. Test results were released and published simultaneously in Manila and the regional offices, within an average of three (3) days. The statistical report on performance of schools (1994-1998) was released to the Commission on Higher Education. Regional Offices in Iloilo and Tacloban were inaugurated. The Commission directed the decentralization of monitoring of CPE provides and programs and the provision of CPE database to Regional Offices. The Regional Email Communications System was operationalized.
Commissioner Alfonso G. Abad assumed office as Acting Chairman in February. The Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 8981 were adopted in February 15. Hon. Antonieta Fortuna-Ibe assumed office as the first lady Chairperson on August 1. The Commission set new Thrusts and Priorities in 2001: Customer-Focused Service, Modernization through Full Computerization and Restructuring, Integrity of Licensure Examinations, Good Governance, Protection and Promotion of Filipino Professionals and Support to National Development Priorities. Processing of professional IDs was reduced from 6 months in August to only 10 days at the end of the year. PRC started the streamlining of systems and procedures and improvement of basic facilities. A streamlined procurement system was installed with the creation of a new Bids and Awards Committee. PRC declared all-out war against syndicates and fixers. The new accounting curriculum was approved by CHED. The Philippines was authorized to operate the APEC Engineer Register in October 19.
In 2002, the Good Governance Code of Ethics was adopted by the Commission in June. Courtesy Lane for Filipino nurses was opened while Customer Service Centers were established nationwide through memoranda of agreement with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Philippine Postal Corporation, curbing the proliferation of fake and overpriced stamps and generating millions of pesos in revenues for the government. National Statistics Office Batch Request Entry and Query System was inaugurated. "Zero Backlog" in issuance of Professional Identification Cards was registered. The PRC fully complied with the February 1, 2002 deadline by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the revalidation of the 1978 Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping or STCW Convention Certificates. It also met the IMO deadline for on-line verification for maritime professionals which can be accessed by flag and administrations. The Government-Private Networking for Good Governance was conducted on September 16 where memoranda of agreement were signed with 18 institutions. A Special Lane was created in November to cater exclusively for nurses and overseas contract workers. PRC started to formulate agency annual budget using Zero-Based Budgeting. PRC fully implemented the Electronic Procurement System.
Good governance among the professions was launched with the signing of Executive Order No. 220 ("Directing the Adoption of the Code of Good Governance for the Professions in the Philippines") on June 23, 2003. The "no deferment" policy was implemented. The Asia Pacific Economic Council Engineer Registry with PRC as National Monitoring Committee was activated while the International Accounting and Auditing Standards was adopted. The Commission complied with the International Maritime Organization deadline for revalidation of '78 STCW Certificates and facilitated the issuance of '95 STCW certificates. Customer-focused service was attained through streamlining of procedures, color-coding and revision of forms, flowcharts, Customer Relations Officers, and daily customer surveys. The new and upgraded PRC website was launched with separate portals for each profession, PRB and APO.
The year 2003 was networking with government agencies and private institutions. Memoranda of Agreement with the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration required professionals to secure valid and updated PRC ID and certificates of registration for employment purposes. The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines, the Management Association of the Philippines, and the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines helped out in the drive to flush out fake professionals by requiring job applicants for professional positions to submit PRC IDs and registration certificates. The PRC networked with 25 government agencies and private associations to assist in various good governance related measures. Regional/field office budgets were rationalized in accordance with volume of clientele and catchment area. Through reforms in bidding, the Commission generated millions in savings in the procurement of computerized application form and ID/answer sheets. After a brief stewardship of Chairperson Alcestis Guiang, Dr. Leonor Tripon Rosero assumed as Acting Commission Chairperson.
In 2004, the PRC worked for the passage of new professional regulatory laws: Electronics and Communications Engineering, Geodetic Engineering, Customs Brokers, Guidance Counseling, Dentistry, Veterinary medicine, Medicine, Architecture, Physical Therapy, Medical Technology, and Accountancy. Professional Identification Cards were released in 5 days, 10 days for professional teachers. Dr. Leonor Tripon-Rosero assumed office in August as Commission Chairperson.
Implementing the Government Electronic Procurement System in 2005, the agency improved its procurement process and reduced its expenses on supplies and materials by 21 percent equivalent to savings of P5.6 million. The Electronic New Government Accounting System became operational after its turn-over by the Commission on Audit, with PRC becoming the one among twenty national government agencies implementing the project. The eCash Management System became operational in the central and all regional offices. Service convenience was provided to transacting public through the Doxpro Call Center Facility and the PRC Text with Globe and Smart.
With a marked increase in total income, regional offices were commended. For Test Question Databank System build-up, all Professional Regulatory Boards complied with the requirement of at least 500 test questions input for each subject, except for subjects that were temporarily assigned to current PRB members due to vacancies. The first seminar-workshop on Competency-Based Testing was conducted for Professional Regulatory Boards. The development of all LERIS modules was completed.
In 2006, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo directed all government agencies to move towards ISO certification through Quality Management System in Administrative Order No. 161 dated October 6, 2006. The LERIS Online Application System and Walk-in Examination System were pilot tested and successfully conducted for four examinations. New Rules of Procedures in Administrative Investigation was approved. The 3-year Information Systems Strategic Plan (2007-2009) was approved with the start of several ICT projects: Voice Over Internet Protocol Communications System, Office Systems Automation, Security and Disaster Management and Database Migration. On September 11, the PRC was attached to the Department of Labor and Employment pursuant to Executive Order No. 565. On October 9, 2006 Executive Order No. 565-A was issued, delegating the Presidential power of control over the PRC to the DOLE Secretary. The ID Express Lane was inaugurated in December 2006.
In 2007, the PRC Citizen's Charter was promulgated pursuant to the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007. WES Test Centers were inaugurated in the cities of Iloilo, Cebu and Davao. The Central Office underwent complete make-over. Regional Offices were conferred awards during PRC Week for personnel productivity and income collection. The regions accounted for 49 percent of examinees, and 51 percent of IDs processed.
In 2008, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo directed the PRC during the Education Summit to update licensure examinations to reflect technical and scientific requirements of business and industry. Atty. Nicolas P. Lapena, Jr. assumed office as Commission Chairperson. A Planning, Research Statistics and Development Unit was created. The CPE was re-institutionalized while the PRC Hymn was adopted. The remote conduct of the WES in Manila was successfully conducted. Regional Offices accounted for P430.3 million in collections or 48% of the Commission's total income and 60 percent of total transactions. The Commission authorized Regional Offices to approve travel orders within their territorial jurisdiction.
For 2009, the Commission welcomed the Real Estate Service as the newest profession under the PRC with the approval of Republic Act No. 9646. Regional Office buildings in Legazpi and Tuguegarao were inaugurated. PRC and the CHED signed a Memorandum of Agreement on the monitoring of performance of schools.
The year 2010 saw the approval of The Roadmap to Quality Professional Regulation as the short and medium-term strategic plan of the Commission. A Committee on Research was created to screen and approve all requests of PRC data for use in individual researches, ensure the confidentiality of the data and to monitor and supervise the research undertaking. The PRC and CHED issued a circular requiring State and Local Universities and Colleges to secure an authority from CHED to operate board programs and for PRC not to admit applicants for licensure examinations effective January 2011 from educational institutions which failed to comply.