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PRC suspends “utang tagging” policy

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) has suspended its policy contained in Memorandum Order No. 44 which tags professionals with pending administrative cases and prevents them from renewing their PRC licenses.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma announced this Sunday, saying the suspension takes effect immediately.

The PRC is an attached agency of DOLE.

Resolution No. 1558, signed by PRC acting chairman Jose Cueto Jr. and commissioner Erwin Enad, was a response to the issue of ‘utang-tagging,’ raised by ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. France Castro in last week’s congressional deliberation of the DOLE budget.

Under this policy, teachers are barred by the PRC from renewing their licenses for purportedly having unpaid debts.

Laguesma expressed concern over the ‘utang tagging’ policy as it places an undue burden on professionals with pending administrative cases. “How can they pay what they borrow if they can’t work because the PRC won’t renew their licenses,” the Labor chief said.

Cueto said that while “utang tagging” is suspended, the PRC will be reviewing and conducting consultations with its various professional boards with the aim of promoting efficiency and fairness in its processes and disciplinary procedures.

Laguesma lauded the PRC for immediately responding to the issue, noting that this will provide not only teachers but also other professionals immediate relief.

While emphasizing that paying debts and professional discipline remain as paramount concerns, he also clarified that in reviewing its policy and disciplinary procedures, the PRC should focus its regulatory function on undesirable acts arising from the exercise of the professions.

Every regulation, he added, should pass the test of reasonableness and should not be used to penalize professionals simply because of their socio-economic circumstances.

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