MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law that seeks to regulate the practice of occupational therapy in the Philippines, according to a copy of the measure released by the Palace on Tuesday.
Duterte signed on March 11 Republic 11241 the “Philippine Occupational Therapy Law of 2018.” The measure was sponsored by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, chair of the Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation.
Occupational therapy seeks to help individuals with physical or developmental disabilities to bring back normalcy to their lives through the help of therapists.
The law creates the Board of Occupational Therapy which will have the power to supervise and regulate the registration, licensure, and practice of occupational therapy in the Philippines. The President will appoint the board’s chairman and two members.
Individuals seeking to practice occupational therapy shall also undergo a licensure examination. An applicant must be a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy degree or its equivalent, has not been convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, and a citizen of the Philippines or a foreigner whose country has reciprocity agreement with the Philippines.
To be qualified as having passed the licensure examination, a candidate must have obtained a general average of 75 percent with no grade lower than 60 percent in any given subject, the law states.
Under the law, it is illegal to practice occupational therapy without having passed the licensure examination. Violators shall be fined not less than P20,000 but not more than P50,000, or be imprisoned for two to five years, or both.