Discounts on antigen, RT-PCR tests for board, bar examinees in Baguio proposed

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The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, requested all public and private medical institutions in the city offering Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) rapid antigen test or reverse transcription (RT-PCR) test to give discounts to board and bar examinees.

In a resolution, city legislators stated that to help ease the burden and anxiety of the board and bar takers, it is imperative for all public and private medical establishments in the city to give discounts to board and bar examinees who are required COVID-10 antigen or RT-PCR tests.

The council pointed out that the discounts that will be provided by the said institutions are a form of helping the examinees on their path in achieving their dreams by lessening their financial burden.

The body claimed that the city government is not deaf or blind to the plight of the board and bar examinees as their preparations for their board or bar examinations in the city would be more manageable without the financial burden brought by the required antigen or RT-PCR test being demanded from them before being allowed to take their examinations.

According to the council, the financial resources needed by the said examines  for their preparations is not a matter to be taken lightly as many of the examinees who see passing the board or bar as a way out of poverty and that the cost of either the additional antigen or RT-PCR test may be more than they can bear.

The council admitted that licensure examinations such as the board examinations conducted by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the bar exam under the Supreme Court (SC) through the Office of the Bar Confidant serve to regulate specific occupation or profession and that the purpose of the same is to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of the public.

However, the council stipulated that the ongoing pandemic has made the holding of the licensure examinations difficult with a number of these tests being postponed to a later date or to impose the additional requirement of a negative COVID-19 antigen or RT-PCT test result.

The said requirement is being imposed by concerned government agencies and the local government to prevent the rapid spread of the deadly virus.

The council disclosed that the price of the aforesaid tests is reportedly costly to many people, including board and bar examinees, who still rely on their parents to shoulder the expenses of undergoing said examinations, and that the current extraordinary circumstances triggered by the pandemic is bringing stress and additional burden not to the exam takers finances but also to their concentration and focus in taking the said examinations.

Further, they have to deal with the anxiety brought by the pandemic while reviewing for their respective board and bar examinations and the cost of undergoing either a COVID-19 antigen or RT-PCR test aggravates the said stress and anxiety already being encountered by the said examinees. By Dexter A. See

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