The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) recently concluded Part II of the March 2020 Physician Licensure Examination (PLE) last September 20-21, 2020 in different testing venues nationwide with a total of 1,421 aspiring doctors who took the licensure exam. The participating regions were: National Capital Region with 822 examinees; CAR (Baguio) with 63 examinees; Region II (Tuguegarao) with 48 examinees; Region IV-A (Lucena) with 33 examinees; Region V (Legaspi) with 52 examinees; Region VI (Iloilo) with 50 examinees; Region VII (Cebu) with 124 examinees; Region VIII (Tacloban) with 27 examinees; Region IX (Zamboanga) with 58 examinees; Region X (Cagayan De Oro) with 53 examinees; and Regions XI (Davao) with 91 examinees.
The conduct of the PLE was in response to the call of the Department of Health (DOH) for additional Medical Doctors to augment the need during the pandemic. The same was with the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) after the PRC sought exemption from the imposed community quarantine restrictions on mass gathering.
During the conduct of the said PLE, the PRC and the Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine (PRB-MED) ensured that the required health and safety protocols including the minimum health standards set by the IATF-MEID and the DOH are strictly observed to guarantee the safety of the examinees and the examination personnel. This is in addition to other preparatory measures done by the PRC which includes the conduct of mandatory Covid-19 confirmatory testing to all PRC personnel who will serve as examination personnel and conduct of public information drive on the requirements of the PLE through tri-media involvement.
The success of the PLE was likewise made possible through the commendable assistance and support of the participating PRC Regional Offices, DOH, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, LGUs, participating government hospitals, and other relevant government and private organizations.
As the results will soon be released after completing the necessary processes, passers will surely augment the shortage of healthcare professionals attending COVID-19 cases in the country. While the health crisis has forced PRC to make crucial decisions as regards licensure examinations, it will remain faithful to its mission to deliberately, scientifically, and consistently determine the competence of professionals such as those who will be called Medical Doctors.