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Saturday, September 13, 2008

The PRC Response to IPCAP's Letter On Board Exam Qualifications

Let me post here an email many among us would have written. Here is the said email (whose sender I am keeping confidential muna.)


When I learned that there were some college grads who were able to take the licensure for the counselors I felt cheated. I checked from the website of PGCA and it was posted there that one has to have an M.A. degree to be able to qualify for the licensure exam.

"First Licensure Exams August 21 & 22, 2008
Minimum Qualification: Graduate of MA/MS in Guidance and Counseling"

I copy pasted it from their website

Since there were some who were able to take the test without the said requirement maybe I would also be qualified to participate in the next licensure exam.

May I know when will be the next licensure exam? I hope you can enlighten me ( Even my classmates are confused) about the licensure requirements

In Christ,

My response

Thanks for your reply. Right now, we at IPCAP are working to help clarify this chaos. I shall personally inform you through my blog developments in this matter. You must have read in my previous blogs our IPCAP letter clarifying with the PRB the PRC requirements. Until now, PRC has not given us any reply which PRB OIC Dr. Rosales has written about.

In the meantime, let's compare notes through email, and let's not be afraid. We are all in search of clarity and TRUTH! PGCA is silent about these things.

Take care and God bless

The PRC Reply Letter:

The highlight in this blog is the PRC response letter to our IPCAP letter last August 13, 2008. At this point, let us understand that IPCAP intends to file a clarificatory letter to finalize what really should be the requirements. We shall blog the matter as well when the letter shall have been formulated and sent to the PRbGC and PRC. Happy reading.

Here is the 2-page PRC reply letter which I transcribed (I have difficulty downloading the picture of this said letter) addressed to PRB GC OIC Dr. Lily Rosales. Here it is:

August 19, 2008

OIC-Board of Guidance of Guidance & Counseling

Dear Madam:

This refers to the letter of Fr. Bernardo R. Collera, SVD, et al. regarding your educational requirement for the first licensure examination for guidance counselors.

Sec. 13 of Rep. Act No. 9258 (Guidance and Counseling Act of 2004) provides as follows:

“Qualifications for Examination. – In order to qualify for the
Examination, an applicant must, at the time of filing the application, be:

(a) a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines or a foreigner
whose country has reciprocity with the Philippines
in the practice of Guidance and Counseling;

xxx xxx xxx

(c) holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Guidance and
Counseling or in other allied disciplines and a
Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from
an institution in the Philippines or abroad recognized
and accredited by the CHED.”

This provision is subject to 2 interpretations.

On the one hand, it may mean that a bachelor’s degree in Guidance and Counseling and a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling are both needed to be qualified for the examination because of the word “and” after the first requirement.

On the other hand, it may also mean that the requirement of a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling will only be needed by those who are holders of a bachelor’s degree in allied discipline because the word “and” comes immediately after the phrase “in other allied disciplines’.

I firmly believe that the second interpretation is the sound one. (In the letter, this sentence was underlined, and since I have difficulty doing that here in this blog system, I emboldened it instead.)

Firstly, there is the word “or” between the phrase ‘bachelor’s degree in guidance and counseling’ and the phrase ‘bachelor’s degree in other allied disciplines’. By this, there will be 2 distinct sets of graduates---one, bachelor in guidance and counseling, and two, bachelor in allied discipline.

Considering that the word “and” is near the phrase ‘bachelor in allied discipline’ then it follows that the requirement of a master’s degree in guidance and counseling will refer to it.

This is logical because the examination is about guidance and counseling. These graduates of allied disciplines may not have taken all the subjects given in a bachelor’s degree in guidance and counseling. Hence a master’s degree in guidance and counseling is needed by them to complete their knowledge of guidance and counseling.

Secondly, a closer look at the requirements for registration as guidance counselor without examination will show that a master’s degree in guidance and counseling is not a requirement by those who have practiced guidance and counseling for 5 and 7 years. (See Sec. 14 of RA 9258)

This is because the licensure examination will take the place of the master’s degree in guidance and counseling for those who are simple graduates of the bachelor’s degree in guidance and counseling.

Lastly, the Honorable Board must take judicial notice of Commission Resolution No. 2005-306 dated December 15, 2005.

In that Resolution the interpretation of who, between the employees of government and private individuals, need to have a baccalaureate degree to be appointed as room watchers and supervisors in licensure examinations.

Because the words “and/or” between these 2 phrases, the Commission adopted the second interpretation wherein the words “baccalaureate degree” will refer to private individuals and not to government employees.

For your information and guidance.

Very truly yours,

OIC, Licensure Office