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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

4th Batch of Oath Takers: Let's Do Something

I am blogging this matter for all RGC's to think about and DO SOMETHING. I have just received the following email which stirred me to seek our collegial reflection and action. After the email, I shall present thoughts that I'd like to propose us to do in response to the situation. I believe that as registered and licensed Guidance Counselors, we have a lot to do, and it starts with the following:

1. The Email

Dear Fr. Bernie,

How are you? I hope you are always in good health and good disposition as you continue to give yourself to your ministry for the sake of the Kingdom.

Upon knowing that there is still slot for the application for PRC registration without examination (Guidance and Counseling - deadline: January 26, 2009), I decided to avail of the opportunity.

The requirements are the following:
1. Original and photocopy of Birth Certificate (NSO)
2. Photocopies of Diploma and Transcript of Records (BS, MS, PhD)
3. Original NBI Clearance
4. 3 Certifications of Good Moral Character (Brgy. Captain, Parish, employer/dean)
5. Certificate of Active Membership and Good Moral Character from (APO) to be issued by the President & two (2) other officers
6. Certificate of Experience (PRC Form 104)
7. Certificate of Employment/ Service Record

I have problem with requirement no. 5 because eversince i am not a member of any of the Associations. The reason that i thought of you this morning when i received the form from PRC. I tried to browse the website of PGCA and i learned that there is a mid-year workshops on Oct. 22- 24, 2008 in Cagayan de Oro City. I thought of joining so as to know the process of membership but i just underwent an ear surgery and i cannot travel this month.

Imee Villar, our teacher before, is the president of the association, and I am a bit hesitant to ask for a membership just because i wanted to apply for registration without examination, though deep down i wanted to be updated of the new trends in Counseling. I will be finishing my term this December, 2008 and I believe i can now concentrate to this field..God willing!

2. Some Comments on the Email and our situation now

The writer has a Masters in Guidance and Counseling from the school that sent its biggest number of board examinees and got a 100% passing during the 1st Licensure Exams for Guidance and Counseling last Aug. 21-22, 2008; the email writer has been doing Counseling all these years (kaya siguro kinailangang mag ear surgery hehe). It is just sad that the email writer did not avail of organizational memberships, something which was not required prior to the law, R.A. No. 9258 anyway . And I'd like to believe that the email writer may have missed out writing the other requirements, namely Residence Certificate (cedula), Passport size picture with nametag (2 pcs), and Application fee of P900.00 which may still be required, or has PRC not required this? Maybe the email writer also has no need to provide Ombudsman certificates since the person is not working in any government.

With the present dispensation, membership in the APO is a requirement to get the license and examinations. In the first 3 batches of oath taking, the PGCA has been tagged as the APO. If the email writer is right, and I believe most of us saw these in the application for license sans the licensure examinations, the APO is in parentheses, and does not specify PGCA. But PGCA was given the franchise to grant the certificates of active membership and good moral character. I believe this is due to the fact that the present PRB have all been allied with PGCA. Dr. Rosales is a PGCA Founder, and Dr. Guzman is one of the Board of Trustees or Directors in the 1998 Constitution that is the only extant Constitution in the SEC registration of PGCA. I hope there is no favoritism involved here, and even if this may be present, our present stage in the professionalization process should have led the organizations to bond together. And come to think of this: PGCA seems to NOT HAVE its original SEC registration papers. I hope I am wrong! But in deference to this oldest organization, no one questioned it. It is really better to have PGCA do the task rather than have none. But with the fact that there are two RGCs now who have faked their papers, thereby getting their PRC licenses, has PGCA done anything about it? PGCA may not have even asked the person complaining to forward a complaint to the PRB because if the person does so, PGCA will definitely be involved for failing to stop the fraud from being consummated. What is this PGCA being (APO) all about? It has not even given us the steps to do when we know a fraud has been committed.

Fact is, already shown at the Oath Taking last Sept. 28, 2008 in Manila Hotel, the Program shows PGCA bearing no title as APO. Yes, the Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9258 has identified PGCA as INTERIM APO or IAPO (Rule I Sec. 3 (f). But the The APO and the IAPO are two different items in the RR (the APO is specified in Rule I, Sec. 3 (g).) Even if PGCA has received a PRC certification way back 2005, fact is they have not been allowed to pay the fees for accreditation as APO by the PRC. Dr. Llanes herself did that and was told that PGCA needs to do a lot of justification for PGCA to be APO, including documentary matters that were shown to be deficient, thereby unacceptable to be APO. Thus, the Oath Taking Program last Sept. 28, 2008 only shows that indeed, the Guidance and Counseling Profession HAS NO APO as I write this blog. If PGCA was INTERIM APO, as stipulated by the RR, it should have had the courage to put that title. But, as it seems, even that was not used, hinting at its possible non-qualifying the PRC certification. Yes, PGCA is duly credited as the organization that worked so hard to make the Guidance and Counseling profession a law, but it has not been given by PRC such a status as APO, as to command our continued allegiance. Yes, the first 3 batches of RGC's under the Grandfather's Clause have sought the PGCA papers simply because we have not really understood what it all meant. And of course, we are only in our first years of the law's full implementation, and a lot of dialogue and communications are necessary, particularly among us Registered and Licensed Guidance Counselors or RGc's. And come to think of it, has there been any forum where the fact of PGCA as APO has been discussed? This is what I would have wanted us Guidance Counselors to have been oriented into, but sadly were not. We seemed to have just went with the flow. Sad huh? Indeed.

3. Anyway, we at the IPCAP shall be meeting on Oct. 1, 2008 2-5PM at the RGS Convent in Katipunan (near the Katipunan LRT II station), and I intend to present a letter for us to send to the PRC to look into this matter. The main point I'd like to be given due consideration is the identification of a legitimate APO in that particular requirement because if indeed PGCA is APO, why not specify it to be so? What has kept the PRC, and the PRBGC for that matter, from clearly stating PGCA as APO? If there is no APO, this particular requirement should not have been written, thereby coercing us to believe something which did not exist in the first place. Something else should have been given the right and obligation in this matter.

4. My suggestion is this: that the certificates of Good Moral Character be given by the applicant coming from RGC's, as PRC Resolution No. 132 Series of 2003 so stipulates, and that active membership in any organization be not required. Active membership should only be required after we shall have had our PRC licenses for purposes of renewal of licenses, and continuing professional education (CPE), something which the Code of Ethics so stipulates. Active membership in an organization is not equal to active practice of Guidance Counseling. The email writer, I believe may have been doing Counseling all these years, and may have not been alerted early enough to help clarify the need for a license. Or is the email writer among those who refused to apply because anyway there was really no APO in the first place? The school where the applicant has been doing Guidance and Counseling work should be the one responsible to certify the applicant's worthiness as shown in the Certificates of Experience and Employment.

5. I shall blog that above letter once we shall have decided at IPCAP to forward it as one body.

If you are an RGC and have read this matter, please pass this to our fellow RGC for collegial action. I believe that many among us shall have felt better knowing that we have not stood indifferent to the situation we're all in. Thank you. God bless