March of 2017 saw the enactment of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act, a bill which required professionals of multiple fields, including Civil Engineers and Architects, to earn a certain amount of credit units before they are allowed to renew their Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) License.
The aim of the Act is to enhance the knowledge and efficiency of professionals through accredited seminars and events. Each event grants attendees a certain number of units, while ensuring that they are up-to-date with the latest trends in their respective fields. The CPD Act has garnered criticism from professionals, stating that the fees for the required seminars would be a burden. Stakeholders were also skeptical of the process, specifically its costs and the accessibility of accredited programs to local and foreign Filipinos. Despite existing efforts for better accreditation systems such as the Continuing Professional Development Accreditation System (CPDAS), the Act is still plagued with accessibility issues for both professionals and credit providers.
There were also senators who were also doubtful of it and wanted it to be voluntary. However, the PRC prefers to keep it mandatory to adhere to the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the CPD Act.
After receiving numerous petitions and complaints about the CPD, some senators, including Antonio Trillanes IV, urged the CPD Council to look into the implementation of the law. Senate President Ralph Recto stated last October that it was “…time for congress to heed the clamor of 3.2 million registered Filipino Professionals to unburden them of this law.“
In March of 2019, the PRC revamped the rules, specifying that while the CPD act would stay, they would decrease the number of units needed for the renewal requirements from 45 to 15. Overseas Filipino Workers and newly licensed professionals are also exempt from complying with the CPD Act.
While the CPD exists to improve the practice of numerous professionals, the limitation in terms of time and money from the postgraduates is often the reason for its poor implementation.
Gaining CPD points might even seem like a waste of time to most people, especially if those attending the programs are there solely for the units. A single seminar can cost over P3000, which can have an equivalent of five to fifteen units. It remains to be seen if the previous unit quota will return.