Medical students at the University of Santo Tomas (AFP FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — The postponed Physician Licensure Examination (PLE) in Metro Manila initially set in September should be rescheduled for the last two weeks of November this year, Sen. Richard Gordon said Thursday.

Gordon made the appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), the Board of Medicine, and other stakeholders.

In a privilege speech, Gordon cited the latest COVID-19 surge projections that he said showed a “window of opportunity” in November when reported COVID-19 cases “may go below” 20,000 per day.

“We also know that we, as a people, cherish our Christmas seasons. It is only reasonable to expect more human travel as we near toward Christmas or December 25. Such an increased rate of human travel in December 2021 comes with it the higher probability of super spreader events that could lead to another surge of infections,” he said.

“This representation, based on scientific projections, proposes that there is a window of opportunity during the last two weeks of November 2021, or on November 20 and 21; and 27 and 28, for the PRC to conduct the PLE,” he pointed out.

In making his call, Gordon pointed to the latest statistics that showed that the country’s current doctor-to-patient ratio is only 2.5 to 2.8 doctors for every 10,000 patients.

“This does not look good, especially in this pandemic,” Gordon stressed.

According to Gordon, if the PLE is held in November, at least 1,700 medical graduates would become doctors by the end of the year.

On Sept. 9, the PRC announced the postponement of the PLE in Metro Manila as the area remained under a modified enhanced community quarantine until Sept. 15.

The PRC said affected examinees may take the “next succeeding examination without forfeiture of their examination fees.”

The PLE is held twice a year in March and September. In 2020, the September board exams were postponed to November.

READ: Physician licensure exam canceled in Metro Manila


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