CSC urged to hold civil service exams online as pandemic shuts testing centers


Posted at Sep 22 2020 06:07 PM

CSC urged to hold civil service exams online as pandemic shuts testing centers 1
Jobseekers taking the civil service exam. Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA - Experts and people looking to work for government agencies are urging the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to digitalize the eligibility exams for the country’s civil service as the pandemic kept testing centers closed this year. 

More than 293,000 people in 66 locations nationwide were supposed to take the exams in March, which was the first of 2 tests held annually. 

Due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, however, the CSC suspended the tests. 

Many government positions require applicants to pass the exams before they can be considered for a post. 

Some who were supposed to take exams have been asking the CSC on its Facebook page to come up with a new schedule for the tests this year. One would-be examinee said that instead of canceling the exams, the CSC should have shifted to online tests. 

Prof. Naomi Aoki of the University of Tokyo said the government needed to find technological solutions to its problems, including the civil service exam issue. She said jobseekers should also be given equal opportunity to access exams once they go online. 

“It is important to increase physical access to internet, and increase digital literacy,” Aoki said. 

CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa Bala says they are working with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to find a solution.

"Hopefully, before the year-end, the commission will come up with alternative ways to administer civil service exams, taking into consideration physical distancing. The IATF, we have to present to them the protocols,” Bala said. 

She said the agency is also studying how to hold the tests online. 

“Our team is undertaking a benchmark study with PRC [Professional Regulations Commission] and ASEAN countries on how to address this through online."

- Report from Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News