Lawmakers urge Duterte to ‘step in’ and suspend CPD program


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MANILA, Philippines – Several lawmakers are now seeking the help of President Rodrigo Duterte to address the frustrations of local professionals against the implementation of R.A. 10912 or the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act of 2016.

Lawmakers urge Duterte to ‘step in’ and suspend CPD Law
Lawmakers are seeking the help of President Duterte to suspend the CPD program | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Presidential Communications

AANGAT TAYO Party-List Rep. Neil Abayon appealed for Duterte to “step in” and suspend the CPD program. Abayon stated that the implementation of the law has been “unjust and unfair” to the professionals. The lawmaker said, “The Continuing Professional Development Law is conceptually sound, but how the PRC has failed to implement it with justice and fairness to professionals is not. It is for this reason that I ask the President to step in.”

Abayon, a member of the House Committee on Revision of Laws currently looking into the CPD law explained that although he believes in the importance of professional growth and development, the Professional Regulations Commissions (PRC) has miserably failed to implement the CPD program. He said, “While the PRC CPD program—not the law—is abolished, all current licenses must be considered valid.”

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The solon added, “What the PRC has failed miserably at is not exercising creativity and innovation to make CPD affordable and accessible. Instead, a CPD training industry has grown much to the disadvantage of professionals.”

The party-list representative even called out how some CPD providers are “dubious but still flourish and run rampant.”

Meanwhile, Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy described the CPD program as “broken.” She said that the PRC failed to make the CPD program affordable and accessible to more professionals.

Dy said, “Naisip ba ng PRC kung paano makaka-attend ng CPD ang mga OFWs? Available na ba CPD seminars na online? Paano kung hindi sila makapag-CPD dahil naghahanap-buhay sila sa abroad, tatanggalan ba sila ng lisensya?”

The lawmaker added, “Maging yung professionals na narito na sa Pilipinas ay nahihirapan pa ring makapag-comply sa tagubilin ng batas dahil ginagawang ‘raket’ ng ilang negosyante ang CPD. Mahal na nga ang singil, abala pa sa hectic na schedule ng mga professionals na naghahanap buhay lang nang marangal.”

Dy, the House Assistant Majority Leader, called out the President to intervene. She said, “Intervention of the President has now become necessary to correct the injustice committed against Filipino professionals. I ask President Duterte to suspend PRC’s CPD program until Pinoy professionals are assured of convenient and affordable access to CPD programs.”

The solon also pointed at PRC for allegedly being “deaf and blind” to the clamor of the professionals. Dy said the solution they are looking at, “Either they suspend the CPD program meantime or Congress shall seriously consider repealing the law altogether.”

Can the President stop CPD?

The controversial CPD law has been the cause of ire of local professionals calling it unnecessary and expensive. Under the said law, professionals are required to finish CPD units for the renewal of their licenses.

Abolishing or amending the CPD law requires a lengthy legislative process of repealing an existing law with the approval of Congress and Senate.

By virtue of the laws in the Constitution, the President cannot amend or repeal a law but he can suspend its implementation through an Executive Order (EO).

An Executive Order is issued by the President to help officers and agencies of the executive branch manage their operations. But an EO also has its limitations. It cannot abolish the CPD law but it can supplement or give implementing details (such as suspension) on the existing law.

For example, the President issued an executive order to put an end to illegal contractualization and provides security of tenure for Filipino workers. He clarified that his EO can only call for a strict implementation of the law but the amending and repealing of labor laws are up to the Congress.

Although limited, an EO still has the force of the law. Back in 2008, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued EO 706 that helped the rehabilitation of Boracay. Arroyo ordered the suspension of building permits in Boracay and appointed the tourism secretary as chairman of the then-Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) to take control.

— Sally, The Summit Express


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