PRC exercises ‘maximum flexibility’ on license renewal under CPD Act
The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) on Wednesday said it was exercising “maximum flexibility” on the renewal of licenses under the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act to make it more accessible and affordable to Filipino professionals.
At a Senate hearing, PRC Commissioner said the agency was taking such approach in consideration of the law being new and its implementation catching many professionals unaware.
“The PRC will now apply maximum flexibility but not exemption because [the latter] has no legal basis,” Chua Chiaco said at the hearing led by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, chair of the Senate committee on civil service, government reorganization and professional regulation.
Trillanes called for an inquiry into the complaints and criticisms from various professions on the implementation of the CPD Act of 2016 and review the guidelines and procedures on its operation.
Among the concerns raised by stakeholders include the inaccessibility and affordability of PRC-accredited CPD providers especially among contractual professionals and those in remote areas, those who are unemployed, underemployed or receiving low wages.
Other groups have also complained about the lack of accredited CPD providers, which has limited their options to current providers-mostly private institutions and accredited integrated professional organizations (AIPOs) supposedly offering training and seminars with exorbitant fees.
At the hearing, Chua Chiaco said professionals, who are unable to comply with the 30 percent required CPD units from July to December this year, will be allowed to renew their licenses upon execution of an undertaking to complete the balance of required CPD units in the next cycle.
To address the concerns on the inaccessibility of CPD providers, Chua Chiaco said the PRC was waiving registration and accreditation fees of government agencies, state universities and colleges and government-owned and controlled corporations that would apply as CPD providers in exchange for providing free training and seminars to their employees.
The PRC was also allowing professionals in remote areas and overseas to obtain CPD units through online courses, trainings and seminars.
“We are encouraging CPD providers to offer online courses and training with the necessary assessment tools. Mother chapters of AIPOS may also record seminars conducted and share these materials to overseas chapters and distant local chapters,” she said.
A mechanism was also being created to recognize in-service trainings and services provided by employers of Filipino professionals working overseas, she told the committee, she noted.
To address the expensive fees charged by accredited providers, Chua Chiaco said the PRC was expediting the process of accreditation so that the presence of more CPD providers will make programs and seminars more affordable “due to fair competition.”
“The PRC is also currently conducting a research study to compare present fees charged in the conduct of the CPD program. Eventually, it will issue operational guidelines that will require CPD providers to charge reasonable fees based on standard parameters,” she said.
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