Complaints from professionals urge Senate to #RevisitCPD
Professionals concur that the accessibility and affordability of acquiring the CPD points are problematic
August 1, 2017
Written by Angel Yulo
1 Aug 2017 — The Senate of the Philippines officially announced that it will conduct an inquiry into Republic Act 10912, the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act. Spurred by complaints raised by professionals, including an online petition tagged #RevisitCPD, sponsor of the CPD Act Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV filed P.S. Resolution 441 on 30 July 2017 seeking to review the law’s implementation. A hearing with the Senate committee on civil service is set for August 9.
The CPD Act of 2016 requires all professionals to go through training programs under accredited CPD providers to earn a certain number of points for the renewal of their licenses. For registered Filipino architects, this entails earning 45 credit units every three years.
Complaints were raised regarding the accessibility and affordability of acquiring the CPD points needed to renew one’s professional license. In his #RevisitCPD petition addressed to the Professional Regulation Commission, civil engineer Junzen Lavapie stated: “[Requiring CPD units] is a good and constructive approach to encourage Filipino professionals to continuously learn and broaden their knowledge, but providing the means to do so is the problem. Majority, if not all, of the providers of seminars and training are private institutions which charge a hefty sum of money for a seminar that doesn’t even come near the required units.” The petition is three weeks old and now 400 signatures shy of 50,000.
Safeguarding the law’s implementation is also problematic. “While I believe that as architects we should update ourselves with current trends, materials, construction methods, and other relevant studies as prescribed by the recently enacted CPD Law, it should not be a requisite for renewing our professional license,” said Joel Rico, past national president of the Philippine Institute of Architects (PIA). “The PIA in 1993 to 1996 already made a legal stand about this in the court of law, and we won the case. Somehow, it has the potential to become a source of corruption within accredited professional organizations if it is not regulated well.”
Trillanes acknowledged the issues regarding the implementation of the CPD Act including: CPD providers being limited to private institutions and the Accredited Integrated Professional Organizations (AIPO); the expensive costs of training and seminars; and the PRC not recognizing training by government agencies such as the Department of Education and other companies, which are already instituted and are usually free.
The senator explained that the current problems were not the intention of the law. The CPD law was created to help the Filipino professional become and remain competitive in their respective fields. He then called the attention of the Professional Regulation Commission and Professional Regulatory Boards to review and amend their operational guidelines, “so they can review and amend their implementing or operational guidelines, which should not be burdensome to our professionals.”