Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s statement, which floated the idea of abolishing board and bar exams, garnered mixed reactions.
Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo also opposed Bello’s proposal.
According to the chief justice, he respects the idea, but the bar exam is a traditional way to filter anyone eligible to enter the legal profession.
In addition, he said, there is also a law to implement it, specifically in the rules of court. As long as this is not changed, he said, bar exams will continue.
“I think we should maintain the bar examinations so that we can sift those who are competent, considering the nature of the legal profession. As you know, the legal profession is vested with public interest,” said Gesmundo.
For Maria Soledad Mawis, chair of the Philippine Association of Law Schools, although she is not opposed, it must first be ensured that there is a system and procedure to determine whether students and graduates are qualified to become lawyers.
He said that once this is laid down and the students are proven to be practice-ready, the proposal to abolish bar exams can be revisited.
The Philippine Nurses Association opposes Bello’s idea.
Bello’s idea to abolish board, bar exams garner mixed reactions
Melbert Reyes, president of the group, stressed that the proposal is difficult to understand because life depends on the hands of nursing graduates.
He said the board exam is a check and balance, so if it is removed, the competence of Filipino nurses and the quality of education in nursing schools will fall.
Moreover, he also said that the safety of the public could not be guaranteed.
Instead of focusing on this measure, he said the government should resolve the issue of the low wages and benefits of nurses.
Meanwhile, Bello on Thursday clarified he was proposing to have board and bar exams studied and not abolished.
“My proposal is for the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) and Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to study it. I didn’t propose scrapping,” Bello said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart.
“I’m not proposing to scrap, I’m proposing especially to the to Philippine Nurses Association and Board of Nursing to study, and that applies to others, [such as] Board of Engineering na pagaralan nilang mabuti (study it carefully),” he said.