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Criminology Articles

by: Rommel K. Manwong, MPA, MSCrim


Passing the Board Examination in Criminology known as the Licensure Examination for Criminologists is the only means to get the license to practice the profession as a criminologist in the Philippines. This is mandated under Republic Act No. 6506 - the law creating the Board of Criminology of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

Once licensed as a criminologist, it gives the holder an open door to enter several options of employment in the private and public sector as well as in the international arena. A licensed criminologist is said to be a generalist as he can perform services offered in law enforcement and public safety administration, forensic sciences, security industries, training and education sectors, and other related services. As defined under the law, a person is deemed engaged in the practice of Criminology if he holds himself out to the public in any of the following capacities:

1. As a professor, instructor or teacher in Criminology in any university, college or school duly recognized by the government and teaches any of the following subjects: (a) Law Enforcement Administration, (b) Criminalistics, (c) Correctional Administration, ( d) Criminal Sociology and allied subjects, and (e) other technical and specialized subjects in the Criminology curriculum.

2. As law enforcement administrator, executive, adviser, consultant or agent in any government or private agency.

3. As technician in dactyloscopy, ballistics, questions documents, police photography, lie detection, forensic chemistry and other scientific aspects of crime detection.

4. As correctional administrator, executive supervisor, worker or officer in any correctional and penal institution.

5. As counselor, expert, adviser, researcher in any government or private agency on any aspects of criminal research or project involving the causes of crime, juvenile delinquency, treatment of offenders, police operations, law enforcement administration, scientific criminal investigation or public welfare administration.

As to privileges granted to criminologists, the law also provides that all certified criminologists shall be exempted from taking any other entrance or qualifying government or civil service examinations and shall be considered civil service eligible to the following government positions: (1) dactylographer; (2) ballistician; (3) questioned document examiner; (4) correctional officer; (5) law enforcement photographer; (6) lie detection examiner; (7) probation officer; (8) agents in any law enforcement agency; (9) security officer; (10) criminal investigator; or (11) police laboratory technician.

Looking into career opportunities in the country, there are three top careers recently considered - Information Technology, Law, and Accountancy / Business related careers. Likewise, the practice of profession as a criminologist is relatively high as compared to other offered vocation. Many colleges and universities in both public and private sector offer Bachelor of Science in Criminology, Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science, and Associate in Police Science, including Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Master in Public Administration Major in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Administration , aside from its related Doctorate degrees. This only shows that these schools are in need of criminologists to teach and become part of the system in these courses or programs.

Scrutinizing the Philippine Regulation Commission, it reveals that criminology is one among the most abundant courses together with nursing and teacher education. Of course, given in the practice of criminology, are the demands among government agencies such as the tri-bureau, which are the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology ( BJMP). Other organizations in need of criminologists also come from other bureaus and agencies of government such as, but not limited to, the Bureau of Customs (BoC), Bureau of Immigration (BI), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Central Bank of the Philippines, DILG-NAPOLCOM, Airports and Seaports Centers, aside from the various positions available in many Private Investigation and Detection agencies, local and abroad.

Nonetheless, worthy to note is that criminology is a dynamic profession and a multi disciplinary science. Te become a licensed criminologist, it requires one to work very hard. All efforts must be made from the time you decided to enroll in the course.

Unfortunately, many are called but few are chosen to practice such a noble profession.

The National Passing Percentage According to available data, there is a low passing percentage in the Criminology Board Examination. The Philippine Regulation Commission (PRC) records show that passing percentage is deteriorating since 1995, which it peaks at 60%.

Table 1 shows that out of eleven (11) examination schedules, the average National Passing Percentage is only 45.15%.

TABLE 1 National Passing Percentage In Criminology Licensure Examinations (CY 1992 - 2002) Calendar Year National Passing Percentage 1992 28.00% 1993 32.53% 1994 50.36% 1995 60.25% 1996 41.05% 1997 51.23% 1998 40.97% 1999 51.34% 2000 45.18% 2001 49.86% 2002 45.92% Average 45.15% Source: Board Examination Status Report - ON CCJE, 2009

In 2003, the Philippine Regulation Commission (PRC) started to conduct the Criminology Board Examination twice a year. The table below shows the succeeding eight (8) examination schedules from March 2003 to October 2006. It presents a recorded average National Passing Percentage of 32.82% that is lower than the previous 11 examination schedules.

TABLE 2 National Passing Percentage In Criminology Licensure Examinations (CY 2003 up to 2006) Calendar Year Number of Board Takers Number of Passers Passing Percentage March 2003 2.949 1.325 44.93% August 2003 7.798 2.776 35.60% March 2004 3.378 1.032 30.05% August 2004 8.296 2.311 27.87 % May 2005 4,811 1,487 30.84% ​​October 2005 6,966 2,183 31.33% May 2006 3,720 1,130 30.37% October 2006 7,707 2,438 31.63% Average 32.82% Source: Board Examination Status Report - ON CCJE, 2009

The last six (6) examination schedules given from May 2007 up to September 2009 reveal a more alarming result, an average of 31% National Passing Percentage which is almost haft from the 1995 hit highest point of 60%. Likewise, it presents that among all the schedules, the lowest passing percentage is 27% recorded on March 2008.

TABLE 3 National Passing Percentage In Criminology Licensure Examinations (CY 2007 - 2009) Calendar Year Number of Board Takers Number of Passers Passing Percentage May 2007 4.477 1.576 35% October 2007 9.424 2.887 30% March 2008 3.318 927 27% August 2008 12.167 4.101 33% April 2009 7.702 2.433 31% September 2009 14.142 5.046 35% Average 31% Source: Board Examination Status Report - ON CCJE, 2009

Despite the increasing number of board takers, there is a decreasing passing percentage and its implications to the present preparations could be too much to ignore. The data show that the examinations given were difficult and / or becoming difficult. This therefore requires the examinees to have a good foundation of the coverage of the examination.

Such difficulties in dealing with the board examination may be a reflection of the kind of educational system the examinee has experienced and the kind of board that the PRC has. Looking at it deeper, the scenario can prompt us to review the following concerns: (1) the kind of faculty that taught the students prior to their graduation; (2) the methods of instruction and strategies adopted in the classes; (3) the textbooks and library resources available for utilization; and (4) the kind of criminology students taking the examinations.

These factors affecting the performance of examinees in the board examination vary widely among different locale along with other considerations. However, without regard on these factors, there is always a vehement institutional and individual competition among the participating schools and among examinees themselves.

As a result, the PRC categorized the participating colleges and universities based on the number of examinees, thus, a 100 or more examinees fall under Category A, 50 to 99 examinees fall under Category B, and 20 to 49 examinees fall under Category C.

For example, on May 2006, 3, 720 examinees from 192 colleges or universities took the Licensure Examination. Tables 4 and 5 shows the result for category A and B as of May 2006 while tables 5, 6 and 7 shows the current standing of CY 2009 particularly the Top 3 schools in all the categories.

TABLE 4 Performance of Schools (as of May 2006) Category A - 100 or more examinees Name of School # of Examinees # of Passers% Rank Philippine College of Criminology 929 225 27.45 Leyte Colleges 653 131 20.06 Cagayan Colleges Tuguegarao 465 110 23.66 University of Iloilo 456 132 28.95 University of Cebu 379 104 27.44 University of Mindanao-Davao City 365 87 23.84 University of the Visayas-Cebu City 332 49 14.76 Universidad De Zamboanga 298 59 19.80 University of Bohol 230 39 16.96 Bicol College 218 60 27.52 University of Baguio 194 125 64.43 2 Cagayan De Oro College 192 72 37.50 9 Prog. Language Technique College 172 88 51.16 3 University of Northern Philippines-Vigan 169 58 34.32 Manuel L. Quezon University 166 58 34.94 University of the Cordilleras 160 143 89.38 1 Central Ilocandia College of Sci & Techn. 150 37 24.67 Naga College Foundation 150 50 33.33 Northwestern University 147 40 27.21 Cordillera Career Dev't College 132 56 42.42 7 Mt. Province State Polytechnic 132 62 46.97 5 Pagadian College of Crim & Sciences 129 27 20.93 Araullo University 128 47 36.72 10 University of Manila 120 50 41.67 8 University of Saint Anthony 118 26 22.03 Andres Bonifacio College 116 17 14.66 Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Muntinlupa 109 31 28.44 Negros Oriental State Univ-Dumaguete 107 50 46.73 6 University of Mindanao-Tagum 107 21 19.63 University of Luzon (Luzon College) 102 48 47.06 4 West Negros College 101 24 23.76 Source: PRC Oath Taking Program & Ceremony, 2006

TABLE 5 Performance of Schools (as of May 2006) Category B - 50 to 99 examinees Name of School # of Examinees # of Passers% Rank Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation 87 39 44.83 Misamis University-Ozamis City 83 30 36.14 Bago City College 81 26 32.10 Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges 80 32 40.00 Saint Ferdinand College-Ilagan 80 19 23.75 Sorsogon College of Criminology 78 14 17.95 Saint Joseph's College-Maasin 77 21 27.27 Metro Manila College 75 24 32.00 Western Mindanao State University 74 51 68.92 2 University of La Sallete -Santiago 73 22 30.14 Florencio L. Vargas College-Tuguegarao 71 19 26.76 Capiz State University-Dayao Campus 69 20 28.99 Saint Joseph Institute of Technology 69 35 50.72 5 Northeastern College 68 23 33.82 Republican College 68 20 29.41 Bohol Institute of Technology-Tagbilaran 62 12 19.35 Universidad De Manila / CColl of Manila 62 55 88.71 1 Rizal Memorial College 61 9 14.75 Wesleyan University of the Philippines 61 31 50.82 4 Eastern Visayas Central College 60 1 9 31.67 Lipa City Colleges 59 22 37.29 Lyceum of Batangas 56 27 48.21 Rizal College of Taal 55 12 21.82 Virgen Delos Remedios Coll. - Olongapo 55 18 13.73 La Carlota City Community College 54 16 29.63 Pangasinan Coll of Sci & Technology 52 30 57.69 3 Asian Development Foundation College 51 16 31.37 Source: PRC Oath Taking Program & Ceremony, 2006

TABLE 6 Performance of Schools (as of April 2009) Category A, B and C Name of School # of Examinees # of Passers% Rank Category A - 100 or more examinees UNIVERSITY OF THE CORDILLERAS 101 93 92% 1 UNIVERSITY OF BAGUIO 103 79 77 % 2 UNIVERSITY OF LA SALLETE-SANTIAGO 107 81 76% 3 Category B - 50-99 examinees CORDILLERA CAREER DEVT COLLEGE 62 39 63% 1 NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY 52 33 63% 2 METRO MANILA COLLEGE 59 30 51% 3 Category C - 20-49 examinees LIPA CITY COLLEGES 21 18 86% 1 UNIVERSITY OF MANILA 26 20 77% 2 ICCT COLLEGES FOUNDATION, INC. 27 19 70% 3 Source: PRC Oath Taking Program & Ceremony, 2009

TABLE 7 Performance of Schools (as of September 2009) Category A, B and C Name of School # of Examinees # of Passers% Rank Category A - 100 or more examinees WESTERN PHIL. UNIVERSITY (PALAWAN) 103 72 70% 1 PLT COLLEGE INC. 158 101 64% 2 MANUEL S. ENVERGA UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION 104 65 63% 3 Category B - 50-99 examinees UNIVERSITY OF THE CORDILLERAS 81 72 89% 1 UNIVERSIDAD DE MANILA 88 74 84% 2 UNIVERSITY OF MANILA 50 42 84% 2 PANPACIFIC UNIVERSITY NORTH PHILIPPINES 79 61 77% 3 Category C - 20-49 examinees SAINT MARY'S UNIVERSITY 22 21 95% 1 ICCT COLLEGES FOUNDATION INC. 31 26 84% 2 ILIGAN MEDICAL CENTER COLLEGE INC. 30 24 80% 3 Source: PRC Oath Taking Program & Ceremony, 2009

Based on the figures above, the institutional ranking shows that most of the top performing schools come outside Metro Manila. This follows then that students in the provinces are doing better than those in the cities of Metro Manila in terms of board passing. This can also imply that institutional and individual competition is at large and cannot be avoided. Schools compete for academic excellence while individual examinees compete for achievement and recognition. Whether the population of examinees is large or small among the participating schools, the result of the board examination is an essential marketing strategy to improve the number of enrollees among criminology schools. The more the number of board passers, the better they attract enrollees.

Today, the inevitable measurement of quality of education is board-passing percentage and employability of graduates.

Hurdling the Board Examination

Now, in order to deal effectively with the examinations, as an individual or as a group, the philosophy of Sun Tzu may be applied. As it is said, "Know your enemy and know your self, and you need not fear to face hundreds of battles." The enemy refers to the board examination; the self refers to the examinee. The battle refers to the three-day period of actual taking the six (6) areas of the Board Examination.

Knowing the "enemy"

Understanding the enemy is basically looking into the system of the Board as a whole, knowing information about the composition of the Board of Examiners, who they are, what they do, and focus on their likelihood of handling the areas of the board examination. Presently, the members of the Board of Examiners are Hon. Lourdes W. Aniceto as chairman, Atty. Ernesto V. Cabrera as member, and Atty. Carolina J. Esquerra as member. These people are experts in the field of criminology, veteran administrators, academicians, and long time legal practitioners. So with this background, one should get ready, plan ahead and expect the unexpected. One should also be perceptive to think over the coverage of the examination because this provides the examinee a complete guide on what to read and review prior to taking the examination.

Based on the provisions of Republic Act No. 6506 and as per PRC syllabi, the coverage, schedule and weight percentage of the board examination is as follows:

DAY 1 - Morning Session - CRIMINAL JURISPRUDENCE (20%) Criminal Law (RPC BK 1 & 2), Criminal Procedure (Rule 110 to 127, RC), Criminal Evidence (Rule 128 to 134, RC), Practice Court ** Need to consider - Special Laws

DAY 1 - Afternoon Session - LAW ENFORCEMENT ADMIN (LEA) - (20%) Police Org, Mgmt, Admin, Police Personnel Mgmt, Police Operational Planning, Police Patrol Operations, Police Comm Systems, Police Com Relations, Police Intelligence, Security Management * * Need to Consider - Police Problems, Contemporary Systems

DAY 2 - Morning Session - CRIMINALISTICS - (20%) Police Photography, Forensic Ballistics, Dactyloscopy, Q. Documents, Forensic Chemistry, Polygraphy, Legal Medicine ** Need to consider - other related sciences

DAY 2 - Afternoon Session - CRIMINAL IDENTIFICATION & DETECTION - (15%) Basic / Fundamentals of Investigation, Investigation of Special Crimes, Fire Technology and Arson Investigation. Traffic Management and Accident Investigation, Narcotic Investigation ** Need to consider - related investigative courses

Day 3 - Morning Session - CRIMINAL SOCIOLOGY, ETHICS, HUMAN RELATIONS AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT (15%) Basic / Fundamentals of Criminology, Study of Juvenile Delinquency Criminological / Police Ethics, Human Behavior and Crisis Mgmt Concepts of Criminal Justice System

DAY 3 - Afternoon Session - CORRECTIONAL ADMINISTRATION - (10%) Basic / Fundamentals of Penology, Institutional Correction (Jails / Prisons) Non-Institutional Correction (Probation), Laws Related to Correction of Criminals

There are several ways to cope with the coverage of the examinations. One should organize and prepare reading materials, review notes and quizzes based on the given scopes. Visual aids and audio materials should be utilized as they can improve aptitude particularly on memory or retention of information in the brain. The collection of test questionnaires given in the past board examinations are also important aspect of the review process as they can be useful for as exercises or practices. It has been said many times - practice makes perfect.

The next thing to consider should be the Professional Regulation Commission’s (PRCs) system of implementing the Board Examinations. Based on observations, PRC administrators the Criminology Board Examination twice a year under a proctor system but computerized checking. Note that the exams are all presented in a multiple-choice type of examination at 100 points per area coverage. Therefore, in three days, the examinee will be answering 600 questions.

With this information, the examinee should remember that the proctors are important especially during the initial moments of the examination because they give proper instructions and other important details of the test - the examinee have to listen to instructions; However, he must not be too trustful to ask answers from proctors even those who offer. The examinee should be keen to know that they are not criminologist rather they come from other professions.

Since checking of the examination result is programmed on computers, the examinee must strictly follow the general rule which states that "erasures are not allowed". Consider that erasure or alteration is a mortal sin in taking the exams.

Another thing worthy to take note is the varying distribution of the weight percentage per area of ​​the examination. Necessarily, one should consider that the computation of the result is based on the given distribution of the weights per area coverage. An example of the computation is shown below.Area Raw Score Times Weight Ave Score Criminal Jurisprudence 78 .20 15.6 Law Enforcement Administration 82 .20 16.4 Criminalistics 74 .20 14.8 Criminal Identification and Detection 65 .15 9.75 Criminal Sociology 69 .15 10.35 Correction Admin 80 .10 8.00 TOTAL / OVERALL SCORE 74.9 % The computed overall score is considered "Failed". The summation of the average scores should not be lower than 75 as a cut off grade. The result in this example will be considered 70 because it will not be rounded off to 75.

Unknown to the majority of examinees, even those who took and passed the Licensure Examination, this is what the PRC does in computing the scores. Hence, glancing about the system of computation, one should not be targeting 50 points in the 100 items questions as many used to do, instead one should perform to achieve 75 points or higher. If the examinee want to make it to the top, then he should aim 85 points or higher.

Another phase in knowing the enemy is that the examinee should understand the mechanics of multiple choice types of examinations. Many consider this type of examination as an easy one; however, this is a misconception. In fact, by applying one can estimate the chances of getting a correct answer from a given probability of four or five choices. This is what makes multiple-choice type of examination difficult. But this type of examination has been recognized to be the most widely used objective test method. It measures simple learning outcome measured by short answer item, alternate-response item, and matching exercise. It also measures complex learning outcomes in the knowledge, understanding, and application areas. Understanding its four characteristics makes you more accurate in picking your choices. There is 1 - a problem (stem) in the form of a direct question or an incomplete statement and there are 2 - suggested solutions (alternatives) in the form of words, numbers, symbols, or phrases and 3- answer (correct alternative) Then the rest are 4- distracters or the remaining alternatives.

There are several forms of applying the mechanics of multiple-choice type of examination. A review of the previous board examination questions, the following examples shows a few important lessons:

Direct Question Form

Which one of the following places modern policing started? A. USA B. London C. Scotland D. England

Incomplete statement form

Rigor mortis is a post-mortem body changes occurring in the - A. Color B. Eye C. Blood D. Muscle

Best Answer Type

Which of the following is the most expensive type of patrol? A. Helicopter Patrol B. Marine Patrol C. K-9 Patrol D. Foot Patrol

Note also that multiple-choice types of examination are used in measuring knowledge outcome as in the following:

Knowledge of Terminology

1. Which word nearly expresses the meaning of collusion? A. Decision B. Continuation C. Connivance D. Insinuation

2. Which of these statements best describe conduction? A. Heat transfers through liquid B. Heat transfers through heat waves C. Heat transfers through solid materials D. Heat transfers through air motion

3. What is meant by the word "horde" in the following sentence: "The police successfully dispersed the horde of protesters." A. Large group B. Supporters C. Motor Vehicles D. Barricade

The third example above is a typical instance where the elimination technique of answering questions may be used. Simple analysis of the question, its shows that one can not disperse a barricade nor a motor vehicle because these are things, one can not also disperse supporters ,, hence, eliminating D, C and B, the most logical answer is A.

Knowledge of Specific Facts

1. What was the first court that held upon the admissibility of fingerprint as evidence? A. New Jersey Court B. Illinois Court C. California Court D. Seattle Court

2. From what state did the Miranda Doctrine originate? A. Oregon B. Arizona C. Michigan D. Texas

Multiple-choice type of exam is used for measuring outcomes at the understanding and application levels like the examples below:

1. Which of the following does not fall under Class A fires? A. Exploding gas depot B. Burning nipa hut C. Forest fire D. None of the above

2. Which of the following best illustrates arson? A. Simultaneous fire B. Faulty electric wiring C. Unexplained explosion D. Thick reddish smoke

Multiple choice type of exam is used to interpret cause-and-effect relationships like this example:

1. Carbon dioxide is hazardous because it - A. is poisonious B. explodes when ignite by sparks C. does not support life D. supports combustion

Multiple choice type of exam is also use to justify methods of procedures such as this example:

1. Why is water prohibited to quench Class D fires? A. Burning metals are too hot B. Water is not capable of extinguishing the fire C. There is the danger of electrocution D. Class D fires reacts violently with water

Valuable to know is that not all questions given in the Board Examination are perfectly stated or phrased. As per observation of the previous examination questionnaires, there are some unintended errors like the following examples:

If no appeal is made, a judgment becomes final after ______ days from its promulgation. A. Jurisdiction B. Geographical Division C. Venue D. Territory Note that what is being asked by the blank is the number of days from promulgation but there is no number from the choices is given.

Supposedly, if we were to correct it, it should have been: If no appeal is made, a judgment becomes final after ______ days from its promulgation. A. 5 B. 10 C. 15 D. 30

In the next example, try to observe how the question was phrased:

Who among the following were given the opinion to join the PNB as provided under Republic Act No. 6975? A. NAPOLCOM operations B. NBI agents C. Central banks security guards D. Jail guards

It should have been: Who among the following were given the option to join the PNP as provided under Republic Act No. 6975? A. NAPOLCOM operations B. NBI agents C. Central banks security guards D. Jail guards

In these instances, the examinee should be careful in rephrasing the questions before picking the answer. However, noted from the former PRC Board of Examiners, they tend to consider such erroneous questions as bonus. Importantly, the examinee should never leave an item blank in the answer sheet.

Finally, try to examine the proceeding example:

In planning for a traffic control program, which of the following IS NOT a factor to consider? A. Model of cars and vehicles B. Incidence of traffic accidents C. Existing road / highway system D. Traffic congestion hazards You should be aware that many questions are like the example above.

In this instance, observe the following - NOT, EXCEPT, OTHER THAN, ALL BUT ONE simply means that one is not included or does not belong to the group. The word NEITHER means none of these or none of the above while EITHER means all of these or all of the above.

Dealing with the "SELF"

Subsequent to studying the many components encompassing the enemy, the examinee should also focus on what he has and develop them as another tool to beat the examination. The examinee need to determine his strengths first then his weaknesses so that he can be able to properly assess himself of his overall standing. In doing this, he may consider the following guidelines:

Before the Date of Exam 1. Check date of filing and deadlines 2. Check PRC requirements and be early in preparing them 3. Attend the review religiously 4. Organize your notes, quizzers and all review materials 5. Pre-test yourself using questionnaires and assess your level of preparation 6. Focus on the important pointers to review 7. Get rest the night before the exam, wake up early and get your composure 8. PRAY

During the Exam Days 1. Relax, be cool, calm and be collected 2. Listen to the proctor, follow the instructions in the form filling period 3. Read and understand questions or the stem of the problem thoroughly. 4. Don't answer immediately halfway in the question. Study the question up to the end, read all suggested answers. 5. Analyze and look for keywords and other clues before choosing the answer 6. Try the process of elimination for difficult questions 7. Remember: No ERASURES! When in doubt leave the item; proceed to the next and review your answers later. 8. Questions with NOT, NO, EXCEPT, DON’T require negative to fact or exclusions. 9. Time is an advantage on your part, use it wisely 10. Be positive but not over confident

After Every Exam (per area) 1. Be calm and quiet then proceed to your camp and receive last minute tips from your instructors. 2. Do not discuss the answers yet until the last examination period 3. Take heavy meals before every examination time 4. Browse notes and review materials to set your mind for the next examination area / category 5. Never hurry in taking the examinations especially the last exam area. Always take time and finish the examination with ease. 6. Reward yourself after the examination by going home safe.

After passing the board exam 1. Check dates of the oath taking ceremony and release of PRC licenses 2. Attend the oath taking ceremony - this will give you a sense of pride and experience a new beginning of your professional career.


“Lucky are those who do not believe on LUCK” - rkm