House to regulate practice of Criminology

The House committee on appropriations approved a substitute bill seeking to regulate the practice of Criminology profession in the country through the creation of the Professional Regulatory Board of Criminologists.

The committee retained the funding provision of the substitute bill which provides that the chairperson of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) shall include in the PRC's programs the implementation of the Act, the funding of which shall be included in the commission's annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).

To effectively attain its objectives, the bill titled The Philippine Criminology Profession Act seeks to repeal Republic Act 6506, otherwise known as An Act Creating the Board of Examiners for Criminologists in the Philippines.

The bill provides that the State recognizes the importance of the Criminology profession in national security, public safety, peace and order, and in nation-building and development.

Hence, the State shall develop and nurture competent, virtuous, productive and well-rounded criminologists whose standards of professional practice and service shall be at par with the Philippine Qualifications Framework: excellent; qualitative; world-class and globally competitive through honest and credible licensure examinations, coupled with programs and activities that would promote professional growth and development.

The proposed law shall govern: 1) examination, registration and licensure of criminologists; 2) supervision, control and regulation of the practice of criminology; 3) development of the professional competence of criminologists through Continuing Professional Program; and 4) integration of all criminology professional groups.

The bill defines Criminology as the scientific study of crimes, victims of crimes, and criminals, in relation to society which sets and defines rules and regulations for themselves and for the common good.

The practice of criminology shall include the following: 1) In line with the practice of profession or occupation as a law enforcement administrator, executive, adviser, consultant, officer, agent, or employee in any private or government agencies performing law enforcement and quasi-judicial functions; 2) In line with the practice of the teaching profession such as those performed by a professor, instructor, or teacher in any university, college, or school duly recognized by the government of any of the following professional subjects of the Criminology program: Criminal Jurisprudence and Procedure; Criminalities; Law Enforcement; Correctional Administration; and Criminal Sociology and Ethics, and other technical and specialized subjects in the Criminology curriculum provided for by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) ; 3) As a technician, examiner/criminalist, or specialist in dactyloscopy, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), lie detection, firearms identification, forensic photography, forensic chemistry, and other scientific crime detection and investigation; 4) As a correctional administrator, executive supervisor, or officer in any correctional and penal institutions; 5) As a counselor, consultant, adviser, or researcher in any government or private agency on any aspect of criminal research or project involving the cause of crime, juvenile delinquency, treatment of offenders, police operations, law enforcement administration, scientific criminal investigation, or public safety administration; and 6) As a private investigator, administrator, consultant or agent, or detective in any private security and investigation agency organized under the laws of the country.

The bill mandates the creation of a Professional Regulatory Board of Criminologists, composed of a Chairperson and four members to be appointed by the President of the Philippines. The collegial body shall be under the administrative supervision and control of the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC).

Among the powers and duties of the Board shall be to supervise and regulate the registration, licensure, and practice of Criminology in accordance with the provision of the proposed Act; promulgate and issue rules and regulations implementing the provisions of the proposed Act; promulgate and adopt a Code of Ethics and a Code of Good Governance for the practice of Criminology; adopt an official seal of the Board; and prescribe and promulgate guidelines on the conduct of a CPD program for criminologists in consultation with the Accredited Integrated Professional Organization (AIPO).

It shall also promulgate, adopt or amend the syllabi and tables of specifications of the subjects for the licensure examinations in consultation with the academe and the CHED, prepare questions for the licensure examination, as well as administer and correct and release the results of the licensure examinations; issue, suspend, revoke, or reinstate the certificate of registration of registered criminologists or cancel temporary or special permit granted to foreign criminologists; monitor the conditions affecting the practice of Criminology and whenever necessary adopts measures to enhance of the profession; ensure, in coordination with the CHED or other authorized government offices, that all higher educational instruction and offering of Criminology shall comply with the policies, standards and requirements of the program as prescribed by the CHED or other authorized government offices; hear and investigate cases on violations of the Act; and delegate to the PRC the hearing or investigation of cases against alleged violators.

The bill is authored by Reps. Maximo Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), Gary Alejano (Party-list, MAGDALO), Karlo Alexei Nograles (1st District, Davao City), Divina Grace Yu (1st District, Zamboanga del Sur), Evelina Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon), Mario Vittorio Marino (5th District, Batangas), Lianda Bolilia (4th District, Batangas), Carlos Isagani Zarate (Party-list, BAYAN MUNA), Mercedes Cagas (Lone District, Davao del Sur), France Castro (Party-list, ACT TEACHERS), Estrellita Suansing (1st District, Nueva Ecija), Marisol Panotes (2nd District, Camarines Norte), Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Party-list, BH), Harlin Neil Abayon III (Party-list, AANGAT TAYO), Gabriel Bordado (3rd District, Camarines Sur), and Victoria Isabel Noel (Party-list, AN WARAY).

Source: House of Representatives

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