Yes, CPD law must be abolished

TO THE QUICK - Jerry S. Tundag (The Freeman) - May 1, 2020 - 12:00am

Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte, son of the Philippine president, wants to repeal Republic Act 10912 or the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016, whose principal author had been then senator Antonio Trillanes. At first glance, the temptation is great to view the development as payback time for the Dutertes. And maybe it is.

 Not so long ago, the unrelenting critic of the father also tried to be tormentor of the son. As a then powerful senator who can call for an investigation just because there happens to be a full moon, Trillanes tried to skewer and humiliate Duterte in a Senate trial by publicity. Now Trillanes is teaching a few subjects in college and Duterte is a congressman.

So I will not be surprised if some people see the plan of Duterte to seek the repeal of Trillanes' CPD law as an act of retribution. And again, maybe in fact it is. But to that I would hasten to add that, retribution or not, the Duterte plan is valid and has a lot of merit. And the sooner Duterte does it, the better for all professionals.

Under the CPD law, all Filipino professionals are required to take additional formal and non-formal learning to be able to renew their professional licenses and identification cards. While I submit that it is good for professionals to keep abreast with the times and be upgraded to the latest trends and skills in their professions, it should not come at the expense of their licenses and IDs.

It is a stupid law that negates everything a student went through in college and earned by successfully passing a licensure exam just because he or she did not take a few seminars later in the course of his or her consequent practice as a professional. A professional license is one thing, a seminar attendance certificate is another.

Trillanes has a long history of confusing things. The CPD law is one manifestation of history repeating itself. Why it ever got to be a law comes as no surprise, however. Congress is not exactly that hot on discernment and intelligence. But just so the CPD law can be repealed, I am willing to go along with its repeal passing by the same standards by which it may have been approved. The end justifies the means, in this case.

What is important is we do not punish professionals for the deficiency of a few seminars. The appropriate measure for proficiency and deficiency is employment level and salary. A professional who wants to move up must take the stairs. Those who would rather stay in the basement can stay in the basement. But no one, certainly not Trillanes, has the right to throw them out the building after they paid their way to get in.

Remember this. A professional became a professional because he or she completed six years of elementary, six years of high school, and at least four years of college. That is excluding the tremendous cost of getting that much education. Then one has to take and pass a licensure exam to get a license and practice a profession. The CPD law cannot wipe that exhaustive and comprehensive slate clean just because of a few untaken seminars.

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