The Ako Bicol Party-list filed House Bills No. 3198 and 3254 expanding the powers of the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) and Commission on Higher Education to regulate the establishment and operation of review centers. The bills seek to amend RA 8981 (PRC Modernization Act of 2000) and RA 7722 (Higher Education Act of 1994), respectively.
Under the AKB bill, the PRC shall regulate review centers, which conduct review courses on licensing of the various professions and occupations under PRC jurisdiction. CHED, on the other hand, shall regulate review centers offering courses for college entrance examinations.
AKB Party-list recognizes the need to protect the public against substandard review centers and unethical practices committed by some review centers. The recent cases of cheating, fraud, and estafa involving review centers have led to unfavorable effects to the various professions, students, professionals, and the public interest and welfare, in general.
At present, there exists no regulatory framework or mechanism that oversees and administers the establishment and operation of review centers and similar entities.
It can be recalled that in 2006, former President Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 566, which directs CHED to regulate the establishment and operation of review centers and similar entities. Said EO, however, was declared by the Supreme Court in 2009 as unconstitutional and invalid. Basically, it says that expanding the powers of CHED should be an initiative of Congress and not the executive branch.