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More than 1,000 OFWs take PRC licensure exams

Around 1,068 Filipinos based in the UAE took their next step to advance their careers as they took the annual Special Professional Licensure Exams (SPLE) within their fields last August 24-26.

The exams were conducted and managed by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) which sent a team of delegates from the Philippines with the cooperation from the Philippine Embassy, Philippine Consulate General as well as and the Philippine Overseas Labor and Employment – Overseas Workers’ Welfare Association (POLO-OWWA) offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The exams took place at The Philippine Global School in Abu Dhabi with the help of the Phil. Professional Org-UAE. PPO-UAE 2018 Chairman Engr. Bernie Favorito said that the exams always take place near or during the Eid Al Adha holidays. “Since the beginning of holding the SPLE in 2009, PRC always considers the entire Middle East to agree on the date of SPLE. The basic consideration when holding SPLE in the Middle East is to time it during the occasion of Eid Al Adha, one of the longest holiday periods in the region,” said Favorito.

Of the 1,068 examinees, Nurses comprised the most number with 302 examinees, followed by 228 Teachers, and 145 CPA examinees.

Faster release of results

PRC’s Head of Delegation in Abu Dhabi Gina Consignado mentioned that there was a passing rate of around 35-40% last year for the entire GCC. With around 5,000 examinees this year, Consignado mentioned that they have streamlined their operations and aim to have results released as early as 2-3 weeks. “Before kasi hinihintay pa namin yung diplomatic pouch so makakapagsimula lang after 3 weeks. Pero this time yung mga teams, dadalin na yung mga exams together. Paguwi namin, dala-dala na naming yung mga packages. Within a week makakapagstart na ng processing and then start na ng release ng results. Up to 2nd week of October tapos na ma-release ang lahat ng results,” explains Consignado.

Labor Attache Atty. Ophelia Almenario expressed her gratitude to the PRC team for their dedication to help OFWs in the UAE advance their careers. “Nagpapasalamat ako na ang PRC ay laging nandito because they support the OFWs. Kung suportado nila ang OFWs, mas suportado namin sila sa POLO-OWWA because we are for the OFWs.”

Working with 9 PRC delegates from the Philippines. Consignado also praised the efficiency of both the POLO-OWWA in the UAE as well as the Philippine Professional Organization in the UAE (PPO-UAE) as they managed to meet their goals to fast track the processing. “They made our lives and our works easier dahil ready talaga sila. I can say that both the POLO in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and the PPO they are the most organized compared to the other regions I’ve worked at.”

Empowering OFWs

Consignado is likewise optimistic that more OFW exam takers who took the SPLE this 2018 will succeed and pass to get their license: “Malaki ang tiwala ko sa mga kababayan natin na pumasa because kaya nila talaga. So ang sa akin, gusto ko sana na yung 35-40% passing, mas tumaas pa para ang balik kasi nito ay sa ekonomiya. Ang sa PRC, serbisyo lamang ang binibigay namin. Ang balik nito is sa long term – pag nagka license ang mga professionals na ito, imagine – tataas ang sweldo nila, maipapadala na sa Pilipinas, and the whole nation will profit from it.”

PPO Chairman Engr.Bernie Favorito himself was one of the SPLE examinees back in 2016 and has mentioned that ever since he got his license, he felt more confident to practice his profession and perform his duties as a Civil Engineer: “I’m one of those na pumasa dito. I have experienced the same thing where I doubted myself na makakaya ko kasi. The difference of taking the exam here is, you are working at the same time while you are reviewing so it’s like doing a double job. I know na yung experience ko sa process na yun to get the license, is fair enough to perform and compete with other nationalities in the company.”

The 19 fields for the SPLE included licensure exams for Architects, Certified Public Accountants, Civil Engineers, Dentists, Electrical Engineers, Electronics Engineers, Electronics Technicians, Master Electricians, Master Plumbers, Mechanical Engineers, Midwives, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Radiology Technicians, Respiratory Therapists, Teachers, Veterinarians, and X-Ray Technologists.

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