The Senate approved today on third and final reading a bill which seeks to regulate the registration, licensure and practice of Occupational Therapy in the Philippines.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, sponsor of Senate Bill No. 454 also known as the Philippine Occupational Therapy Law of 2018, said Republic Act No. 5680 creating the Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapist on June 21, 1969, may no longer be attuned to the local and international standards.
"It is high time that we address this anomaly by creating a separate regulatory board and legal framework for the profession in light of the increasing demand for our highly competitive occupational therapists, and the challenges being brought by our commitments in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community, particularly in terms of the movement of professionals within the region," Trillanes said.
"This measure seeks to formally recognize occupational therapy (OT) as an independent medical profession from physical therapy and to align its regulatory framework with international standards of practice," he added.
Under the proposed measure, there will be a creation of the Board of Occupational Therapy under the administrative supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) composed of a chairperson and two members appointed by the President of the Philippines within six months after the implementation of the Act.
The bill also seeks to introduce a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program for occupational therapists, including a reciprocity clause that would pave the way for Filipino occupational therapists to practice abroad and integrate the OT profession into one national professional organization through the Accredited Integrated Professional Organization (AIPO).
"As one of the fastest growing professions in the country and abroad, updating the regulatory framework for the practice of our occupational therapists would undoubtedly complement the talent and skills of Filipino occupational therapists not only to make them globally competitive but also to enable them to give greater service to our country and our people," Trillanes said. (Olivia Caunan)
Source: Senate of the Philippines