Updates from the latest CPD Act hearing

The Professional Regulation Commission will exercise "maximum flexibility" in the renewal of licenses

  • August 15, 2017

  • Written by Angel Yulo

15 Aug 2017 — Representatives of the different professional organizations gathered in the Senate of the Philippines last 9 August 2017 for a hearing on Republic Act 10912, the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act. Chaired by Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV, the CPD Act hearing was meant to review the law’s implementation, and introduce possible amendments and operating guidelines for each profession. This follows a series of online complaints regarding the accessibility and affordability of acquiring the points needed to renew professional licenses.

READ MORE: Complaints from professionals urge Senate to #RevisitCPD

Trillanes, sponsor of the CPD Act, stressed that the law was passed to make Filipino professionals competitive for ASEAN integration. Moreover, it is to keep professionals up to date with the developments in their respective fields. Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Commissioner Angeline Chua Chiaco said that the PRC will exercise “maximum flexibility” in the renewal of licenses. Below is a rundown of other points brought up during the CPD Act hearing.

Avenues for free CPD units 

The PRC issued Memorandum Circular No. 7 of 2017 in which all government agencies, state universities and colleges, and government owned and controlled corporations are called to apply for accreditation as CPD providers. The registration fee and the accreditation fee for their CPD programs will be waived. In-house training and seminars are opportunities for underemployed and casual employees to earn free CPD units. More importantly, professionals employed by the different government agencies can earn units without cost.  “We are working on at least mabigay nang free doon sa public sector. We’ll work on the private sector later on,” said Trillanes. APOs (accredited professional organizations) were also urged to give free training and seminars to their members as part of their social responsibility.

Inclusive CPD learning  

CPD providers were enouraged to offer online courses, training and seminars with the necessary assessment tools. One way to go about this is APO mother chapters recording their conducted seminars and sharing it with distant local and overseas chapters. “For professionals working overseas, a mechanism is being prepared to recognize their in-service training and seminars provided by their employers,” said Chua Chiaco. Another option would be to take CPD-related courses from non-accredited institutions abroad and have units accredited under the self-directed learning modality.

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Affordable seminars

In the last four months, 17 CPD providers for the architecture profession were accredited. There are a total 110 CPD programs worth 680 credit units. Moreover, the CPD Council for Architects only required 13.5 units for this year’s renewal period (part of their gradual implementation). Nevertheless, being able to serve over 40,000 registered architects was still brought up as a tall order.

The law is still in its initial stages and the dearth of CPD avenues in some professions have lead some providers “to take advantage of the law of supply and demand.” One profession’s representative even asked why their annual conventions must be held in three-star hotels. The PRC is currently researching the present fees of current CPD programs in order to issue standards for reasonable charging.

Trillanes brought up the need for more CPD providers, as online options are still being developed. “Ngayon, the more providers, may competition, mas bababa iyong presyo niyan. That’s the idea,” he said. He also drew a picture of an ideal scenario: conventions in which CPD lectures and programs worth the total points of a renewal period are incorporated.

PRC Chairman Atty. Teofilo Pilando Jr., CPD Program Manager Gerard Sanvictores, and CPD Council for Architecture Chairman Robert M. Mirafuente were also present in the hearing. The architecture profession was represented by Architecture Council and Advocacy Philippines founder John Paul Octaviano, Philippine Institute of Architects president Arnel Colcol, and Louie Falcon of the United Architects of the Philippines.

The hearing was suspended at around 3pm that day and will be continued on a date to be announced.