Senator Antonio Trillanes is one of the most prolific lawmakers in the land these days, regularly churning out laws and statutes that help to set the lifestyle of Filipinos the world over. Daring, handsome, eloquent and dauntless, he is every inch the man who graduated decorated from the Philippine Military Academy.
Recently, Trillanes authored the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016 which was met with uproar from the field. The CPD Act calls for the continuous education of professionals through seminars, training workshops and other professional development tracks such as graduate school and self-directed methods.
The problem is, as is almost always is the case, in the implementation of the law. The CPD Act’s rationale per se is of great value – ensuring that the clientele would be given the highest possible level of service because the professionals are updated with the current trends and methodologies in their specific industries. Would you go to a dentist who doesn’t know anything about the new-fangled dental technology? Who doesn’t know a thing or two about modern teeth bracing technology? Or would you entrust you children to a teacher who doesn’t know the latest pedagogical methods? Or who doesn’t know the latest trends in the field? With the CPD requirements, before a professional can renew his license he must have accumulated enough units prescribed by his particular regulatory board.
In fact, some people have commented, “Wala naman sana problem ang CPD basta low cost lng sana mga seminars. Ang problem kasi is ang mahal masyado.” The statement itself shows the weakness in the implementation of the CPD Law. In the law, continuous development seminars need not be expensive – though if the professional wants to pay for seminar workshops he does have that choice. But there is a provision in the bill that states that seminars conducted locally by accredited associations would be honored. In the case of teachers (of which 45 units would have to amassed within three years) the school learning action cells should be accredited, division wide seminars should also be counted and workshops in the division level should also be considered.
The problem is that a lot of people and organizations are getting themselves accredited and spreading that fallacy that it is only through them that professionals can get enough units to get their licenses renewed. Several viral posts with regards to the strict implementation of CPD regulations and uncalled for additional bureaucratic processes have also surfaced. Additional costs for notarization of documents and other requirements, previously unneeded, add to the woes. Instead of an outright payment of the base fee and fines for late filers, the attendant costs of renewing professional licenses have now doubled and sometimes tripled – bringing additional burden to already haggard professionals.
In response to this, Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro of ACT Teachers Party List in coordination with Reps. Carlos Zarate, Emmi de Jesus, Arlene Brosas, Ariel Casilao and Sarah Jane Elago of Bayan Muna, Gabriela, ANAKPAWIS and KABATAAN Party Lists, respectively, have filed House Bill 7171 calling for the Repeal of RA 10912 citing that it is oppressive and contrary to the laws and existing standards.
Debates would continue to rage until the issues surrounding the CPD Law is clarified. It would take a long time but it would hopefully, the CPD Law would not be abolished but reviewed and implemented properly. Remove the bureaucratic red tape and make the seminars less expensive and a lot of professionals would surely stand for it.