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De Lima seeks reduction of CPD units for professionals

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By Mario Casayuran

To ease costly bureaucratic nightmares, opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has proposed an across-the-board credit units reduction in the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit units required from professionals by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) before they can renew their licenses.

Sen. Leila de Lima (PRIB Photo by Alex Nuevaespaña/2 August 2016/Manila Bulletin)

Sen. Leila de Lima (PRIB Photo by Alex Nuevaespaña/ /Manila Bulletin File Photo)

De Lima filed Senate Bill (SB) 1853, which seeks to amend Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10912, known as the “Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act of 2016,” due to the “costly bureaucratic nightmare” to some licensed and registered professionals.

“What was originally a well-meaning legislation has turned out to be a costly bureaucratic nightmare for both the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) and the licensed professionals,” she said.

Under RA 10912, de Lima noted that the professionals are required to take as many as 45 to 120 units for every three years just to renew their license and practice their profession. Accountancy, for one, requires 120 credit units.

As such, the cost of CPD programs can range from P2,500 for a 15-unit module for real estate brokers to as costly as P20,384 for a 100-unit program for certified public accountants (CPAs).

“The costs can be even higher for highly-specialized professions with few training providers,” she said.

Although the PRC provided alternative modes of getting credit units, de Lima pointed out that some professionals would still have to spend time away from work due to training, gathering up the needed documents, and applying with the PRC to have their units credited.

“That translates to added costs for professionals who will lose income opportunities just to navigate through the bureaucratic processes required by the present law,” she said, noting that several professionals earn only just above the minimum salary.

“To impose too heavy a burden on the CPD credit units upon them [professionals] is tantamount to a significant deprivation of their income,” de Lima explained.

Under SB No. 1853, de Lima proposed that the PRC should only require a maximum of 36 credit units each for 41 professions, such as thos in the field of agriculture and engineering, for every three-year compliance period, to alleviate the burden carried by professionals.

“This bill provides a cap for the CPD credit units which may be required by the PRC in order to moderate the burden upon the professionals who are already serving our country by practicing their professions for the benefit of our countrymen,” she said.

De Lima noted that the proposed reduction to 36 credit units in renewal of professional licenses would also benefit the government which also suffers from the same dilemma as the professionals with their costs adding up from providing staff who will have to process the accreditation and verification of the submitted documents.

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