Senator Villanueva calls on DOH to recognize TESDA-trained therapists
The Department of Health (DOH) should recognize therapists trained by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and simplify its “no license, no massage” order, Senator Joel Villanueva urged on Thursday.
Villanueva issued the call after the DOH resumed its implementation of an order requiring massage therapists to secure a license.
“We recognize the importance of regulating the massage therapy profession to ensure that only qualified individuals can practice it,” Villanueva, the former Tesda director general, said in a statement.
“However, we find it unreasonable to require our people to undergo six months of training from DOH-accredited training centers when TESDA already has existing training courses and issues a National Certificate in Massage Therapy NC II which is also recognized abroad,” he added.
Citing Administrative Order No. 2010-0034 issued on Dec. 10, 2010, Villanueva said “no person is authorized to practice massage as a profession without a valid certificate of registration issued by the committee of examiners for massage therapy and approved by the DOH.”
But in January 2011, Villanueva said the order was suspended after the DOH agreed to a three-year moratorium on licensing of masseurs and masseuses, which expired last December 2017.
In light of this, he stressed that the DOH and Tesda should “work together to harmonize the implementation of training, assessment, and certification of massage therapists.”
Villanueva said he also intended to call the DOH and Tesda officials to a public hearing to come up with an agreement.
“I asked our Senate committee on health chairperson Sen. JV Ejercito to call for a hearing to resolve this matter in no time. We can schedule it once session resumes on January 15,” Villanueva said.
“Most if not all individuals who enroll in massage therapy courses are those who cannot afford tertiary education but are interested to gain employment immediately after they graduate. We don’t want the DOH order to add more burden to our people,” he added.
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