Professionals from the health sector protested the implementation of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) law.
Last July 17, 2017, during a mobilization in front of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in Manila, health professionals led by the Alliance of Health Workers decried the CPD as a “commercialization and bastardization of the essence of continuing professional development.”
The said law requires the acquisition of certain units before licenses are renewed. These units could be attained through trainings, seminars, and postgraduate courses, among others.
However, the said alliance strongly noted that the CPD programs are inaccessible to thousands of health professionals. Sean Herbert Velchez, a nurse and the alliance spokesperon, said that the license requisite forces health professionals to “cough up thousands of pesos for seminars and trainings.” He also emphasized that the additional requirement is an additional burden to many health professionals who are jobless or who have no job security, especially in the midst of contractualization and insecure salaries.
Velchez narrated that a nurse or a medical technologist who typically earns a measly five thousand pesos monthly salary would not be able to afford a seminar or a training that costs around three to seven thousand pesos. Velchez posited further the high improbability of “a midwife serving in a far-flung community in Biliran” to “attend seminars being offered by private training providers” that are mostly found in urban centers.
“How can OFWs comply when there is no clear guideline on how they can acquire point units? How can the jobless or those who chose to be housewives but still want to maintain their licenses afford these seminars?” Velchez stressed.
The Alliance of Health Workers offered a solution to the problem: “that CPD programs be given at no cost to the employees by mandating that employers both in public and private sectors shoulder the cost.”
The health professionals also called for the an end to labor contractualization, the passage of a National Minimum Wage, salary increase for health professionals, and income tax reduction.
“We hope that President Duterte listens to the cries of Filipino professionals – most of them voted and heavily campaigned for him. We hope that the Duterte government reciprocates the sacrifices and contributions of Filipino professionals in nation building and progress,” Velchez ended.