Passed on third and final reading on August 3, 2015 by the Philippine Senate (no abstentions, none against) during the 16th Congress, the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2015 (CPDA) was jointly sponsored by Senators Antonio F. Trillanes, Cynthia A. Villar and Francis G. Escudero.
It is an act that
“mandates and strengthens the Continuing Professional Development program for all regulated professions, creating a Continuing Professional Development Council and appropriating funds therefor and for other related purposes”.
Its legislative history dates back to January 22, 2015 when it was initially submitted as a joint committee report of the Senate’s Committees on Civil Service and Government Reorganization and Finance.
There exists a necessity to continuously enhance and upgrade our qualifications as professionals in light of the Asean Integration which is a regional arrangement entered into by the Asean member states, based on the mutual recognition of qualifications, requirements met, licenses and certificates granted, and experience gained by professionals, in order to enhance mobility of professional services within the region. (see http://www.asean.org/communities/asean-economic-community/item/asean-mutual-recognition-arrangement-on-dental-practitioners-2)
There are several modes of learning quantified in this Act, namely:
1. Formal learning – refers to educational arrangements such as curricular qualifications and teaching-learning requirements that take place in education and training institutions recognized by relevant national authorities and which lead to diplomas and qualifications
2. Informal learning – refers to learning that occurs in daily life assessed through the recognition, validation and accreditation process and which can contribute to a qualification
3. Non-formal learning – refers to learning that has been acquired in addition or alternatively to formal learning, which may be structured and made more flexible according to educational and learning arrangements
4. Online learning activities – refers to structured or unstructured learning initiatives which make use of the internet and other web-based Information and Communications Technology solutions.
5. Self-directed learning – refers to learning activities such as online training, local/international seminars/non-degree courses, institution/company-sponsored training programs and the like, which did not undergo CPD accreditation but may be applied for and awarded CPD units by the respective CPD Council.
6. Professional work experience – self-explanatory
The Professional Regulation Commission is the lead agency tasked to undertake the overall implementation of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs; concomitantly with that of the different Professional Regulatory Boards (in our case, the Board of Dentistry).
A CPD Council shall be formed in each of the regulated professions which shall be under the supervision of their respective Professional Regulatory Board (PRB). The CPD Council “shall ensure adequate and appropriate provision of CPD programs; evaluate and act on applications for accreditation of CPD providers and their CPD programs; monitor and evaluate the implementation of the CPD programs; assess and/or upgrade the criteria for accreditation of CPD providers and their CPD programs on a regular basis; develop mechanisms for the validation accreditation and recognition of self-directed learning, prior/informal learning, online learning and other learning processes through professional work experience; conduct researches, studies and bench-marking for international alignment of CPD programs; issue operational guidelines with the approval of the PRC and the PRB concerned and perform such other functions related to or incidental to the implementation of the CPD.”
The recognition of credit units earned by a professional shall be accumulated and transferred in accordance with the Pathways and Equivalencies of the Philippine Qualifications Framework or PQF.
What is the PQF?
It is a national policy signed by President Benigno Aquino III on October 1, 2012 (Executive Order No. 83) that describes the levels of educational qualifications based on standards of knowledge, skills and values acquired in different ways and methods by learners and workers of the country. (http://www.gov.ph/2012/12/17/implementing-rules-and-regulations-of-executive-order-no-83-s-2012/)
The PQF National Coordinating Council, formed as an offshoot of this Executive Order, is chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Education with members comprising of the Director-General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA, Chairpersons of Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the PRC and the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of this CPDA shall be formulated by the PRC and the PRBs in consultation with the Accredited Professional Organization (APO) in a given profession. The same shall be promulgated within 6 months upon the effectivity of this Act which shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its complete publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines (http://www.gov.ph/) or in two (2) newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.
The IRR is an integral part of any enacted law in the country. It defines the parameters, procedures and requirements to enforce the law as competently as possible.
As of this writing, this bill, though already passed on third and final reading by the Senate, will be “submitted to the House of Representatives for consideration. A bill passed by the Senate and transmitted to the House usually goes to a committee, unless a House bill on the same subject has already been reported out by the appropriate committee and placed on the calendar” (http://www.senate.gov.ph/about/legpro.asp)
The final version of that of the Senate’s and the House’s combined will then be submitted to the President, who either signs it into law or “vetoes and sends it back to the Senate with the veto message”.
As of this writing, the said (then) Senate BIll was passed on third and final reading by the Senate in August of 2015 and has now lapsed into law as of July 21, 2016 without the signature of the President of the Republic (in accordance with Article VI, Section 27 (1) of the Philippine Constitution). It is now known as Republic Act 10912 and is now henceforth a certainty that a certain number of CPD units will be required of all professionals prior to renewal of license. It is just a matter of time as to when it will be officially implemented. – jbcsydmd