The PCNC certification process is one of the very few government-recognized NGO certification systems in the world and has been the subject of discussion and possible replication by NGOs in different countries. It ensures professionalism, accountability and transparency within the NGO and nonprofit sector in the Philippines by providing a Seal of Good Housekeeping, which will hopefully also help identify NGOs of good standing for funding agencies and partners.

ADB. 2013. Civil Society Briefs: Philippines.

PCNC Accreditation

The PCNC accreditation and BIR certification as donee-institution is a ladderized system. Qualified NGO that wants to apply for a donee-institution status with the BIR need to apply first for PCNC accreditation. In accordance with Revenue Regulations No. 13-98, PCNC accreditation is a “pre-requisite for the registration of non-stock, non-profit corporations and foundations with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as qualified donee institution under Section 34 (H) (1) and (2) (c) of the National Internal Revenue Code”.

PCNC Certificate of Accreditation

Seal of good NGO housekeeping

Pre-requisite for BIR registration as donee institution
BIR Certificate of Registration as donee institution

Full deductibility of donations

Exemption from donor’s tax

Moreover, PCNC accreditation is not only an assurance of NGO-applicant’s compliance with regulatory requirements but also a seal of legitimacy and good NGO housekeeping that is recognized by the government, the NGO sector, and local and international donor community — a demonstration that the PCNC-accredited organizations have met the standards of good governance, financial stewardship, and operational transparency and accountability. As such, an NGO may still seek PCNC accreditation even if it does not intend to acquire the BIR registration as donee-institution.

Accreditation Guidelines

The evaluation and accreditation process aims at improving the effectiveness of NGOs so that they become increasingly accountable, credible, and capable in providing services to those in need and to be instrumental in creating a culture of giving. It is an opportunity for NGOs to identify organizational strengths and areas for improvement and how these shortcomings could be mitigated, if not eliminated, for improved performance.

The purpose of PCNC evaluation is both “summative” and “formative”.


Determine eligibility for certification as donee institution in accordance with Section 2 of Revenue Regulation 13-98.

Assess the level of organizational performance vis-à-vis established rules and leading practices.

Identify areas for improving organizational performance for increased integrity, transparency, accountability and service.

Scope of Evaluation

An NGO-applicant is evaluated based on standards along six dimensions of NGO organizational performance, as follows:

  1. Organizational Purpose. This examines the organization’s purpose or purposes provided in the Articles of Incorporation and their coherence with the mission, vision, goals and core values. The organizations mission and goals should justify its existence.
  2. Governance and Leadership. This dimension covers the organization’s governance structure, direction-setting, strategic planning and policy formulation, institutional performance management, and mechanisms for internal control and risk management.</li
  3. Program/Operations Management. This examines the policies, procedures and practices in managing the delivery of the organization’s programs or services, including program/service design and planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and learning.
  4. Collaboration. This looks into the linkages or partnerships that the organization establishes with other organizations in pursuing common development agenda.
  5. Administration. The organization’s administrative policies, procedures and practices that cover human resources, procurement, asset management, safety and security, and other support services are assessed under this dimension.
  6. Financial Management and Sustainability. This dimension examines the sufficiency and appropriateness of the organization’s policies, procedures, and practices for the efficient and effective management of its financial resources that are anchored on the principles of accountability, transparency, and sustainability.

Based on the results of the evaluation, an NGO may be certified for either one year, three years or five years.

Accreditation Process

PCNC accreditation is a six-step process that can be completed within three months depending on the readiness of the applicant-NGO.


NGO submit application for accreditation

The “Checklist of Documents” (PCNC Form 101) lists all the necessary documents that must be submitted to initiate the accreditation process. All documents must be thoroughly reviewed prior to submission to PCNC particularly the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws to make sure that the required provisions in item No. 6 in the Checklist are complied with. Those provisions may not be written verbatim as in the list, but should be similar in intent and meaning. Once the accreditation is approved by the PCNC Board, one set of the documents will be endorsed to the BIR for further review as the NGO’s application for registration as donee institution.

PCNC staff review correctness and completeness of documents

Submit four sets of complete documents in hard copies either through courier or hand-carry. You will be notified of any deficiencies within two days after receipt of your documents by PCNC. Submit any lacking documents as soon as possible so we can proceed to scheduling your evaluation. The same set of documents will be submitted to the BIR once your organization passed the PCNC accreditation.


For faster review of your documents both by PCNC and the BIR, the documents must be organized sequentially as presented in the Checklist and labeled on the side accordingly. Please use long, green expandable folder for uniformity and easier identification of documents in the BIR office. DO NOT BIND THE DOCUMENTS. DO NOT USE BINDER FOLDER OR CLEAR BOOK as these will only make the documents bulky and heavier.


Evaluation Team conduct evaluation

PCNC will constitute the Evaluation Team composed of two volunteer peer evaluators—one is an expert in governance, program/project management, and linkages, and the other is an expert in accounting, financial management, and administration—and a PCNC Certification Officer. The schedule of evaluation visit by PET will be coordinated by PCNC with the NGO-applicant.

PCNC Board deliberate recommendations for accreditation

After the evaluation is completed, the evaluation report is submitted to the PCNC Board for deliberation. The Board may approve, deny, or defer the accreditation of applicant-NGO.

PCNC issue the Certificate of Accreditation

A Certificate of Accreditation is issued to NGO whose application has been approved by the PCNC Board. Note that the PCNC Certificate of Accreditation is separate and distinct from the Certificate of Registration as donee institution to be issued by the BIR.

PCNC endorse to BIR accredited NGO for the issuance of the Certificate of Registration as donee-institution

PCNC-accredited NGO with complete documentary requirements is endorsed to the BIR for further review. If the BIR finds everything in order, it will issue the Certificate of Registration as donee institution through PCNC. NGOs with donee institution status can issue a Certificate of Donation for donations received which can be used by the donor to claim for tax deductibility of donation given.

The evaluation conducted by PCNC is an opportunity to determine organizational strengths and areas for improvement of an NGO. These are coupled with recommendations from the VPEs of mitigating actions that an NGO may take to improve operations. As one accredited organization shares, “The PCNC certification, including the whole process of having it renewed, encourages us to improve the delivery of our programs and services, as well as strengthen our organizational management systems.”