SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading a bill regulating the practice of criminology profession in the country.
A total 192 lawmakers voted to approve House Bill (HB) 7191 or the “Philippine Criminology Profession Act” authored by Reps. Gary Alejano and Maximo Rodriguez, Jr.
The bill, which repeals Republic Act No. 6506 or “An Act Creating The Board Of Examinees For Criminologists In The Philippines”, governs the examination, registration and licensure for criminologists; the supervision, control and regulation of the practice of criminology; the development of the professional competence of criminologists through a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program; and the integration of all criminology professional groups.
HB 7191 also creates a Professional Regulatory Board of Criminologists, a collegial body to be under the administrative supervision and control of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
The board shall be composed of a chairperson and four members to be appointed by the president of the Philippines. It shall supervise and regulate the registration, licensure, and practice of criminology in accordance with the provisions of the Act; promulgate and issue rules and regulations implementing the provisions of the proposed measure; and to promulgate and adopt a Code of Ethics and a Code of Good Governance for the practice of criminology.
Likewise, the board shall recommend to the PRC the endorsement of cases involving criminal violations of the Act, its implementing rules and regulations, and other laws to the Prosecution Office or appropriate government agency for investigation and appropriate action; hear and decide administrative cases against examinees or registered criminologists; and prepare an annual report of accomplishments on programs, projects, and activities of the board for submission to the PRC after the close of each calendar year and make appropriate recommendations to the PRC on issues affecting the criminology profession, among other things.
It shall also prepare and maintain a roster showing the names, residence and office addresses of all registered criminologists into one national organization of criminologists that is duly registered with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A certification of registration shall be issued to examinees who pass the licensure examination by the PRC. It shall bear the signature of the chairperson and the commissioners of the PRC and the chairperson and members of the board, stamped with the official seal of the PRC and of the Board, certifying that the person named therein is entitled to practice the criminology profession with all the privileges appurtenant thereto.
Meanwhile, professional identification cards bearing the registration number and date of issuance, its validity and expiry duly signed by the chairperson of the PRC shall likewise be issued to every registrant who has paid the prescribed fee.
All registered criminologists shall be exempt from taking any other entrance or qualifying government or civil service examination.
Persons who shall be authorized to practice the criminology profession in the country are the duly registered criminologists and holders of valid certificates of registration and valid professional identification cards issued by the board and the PRC pursuant to the Act and holders of valid temporary/special permits issued by the board and the PRC to foreign licensed criminologists pursuant to this Act.
Others authorized to practice criminology in the country are the following: juridical persons such as single proprietorship whose owner and technical staff are registered criminologists; partnerships duly registered with the SEC as professional partnerships pursuant to the Civil Code and composed of partners, majority of whom are registered criminologists; corporations duly registered with the SEC as engaged in the practice of criminology and with officers and board of directors who are all registered criminologists; and associations and cooperatives duly registered with the appropriate government agency as nonstock corporations where majority of the officer, board of trustees, and members are registered criminologists.
These juridical persons shall also be registered with the board and the PRC in accordance with the rules and regulations thereon.
The bill provides for a penalty of a fine of P100,000 to P500,000 or imprisonment for one year to six years, or both, upon any person who shall commit any of the following acts:
1. Practicing criminology without a valid certificate of registration and valid professional identification card or valid/special permit;
2. Attempting to use the seal, certificate of registration, and professional identification card of a registered criminologist or temporary/special permit issued to a foreign criminologist;
3. Abetting the illegal practice of criminology by an unregistered or unauthorized person; securing through false information or fraudulent means a certificate of registration and professional identification card or temporary/special permit;
4. Securing through false information or fraudulent means a certificate of registration and professional identification card or temporary/special permit;
5. Impersonating a registered criminologist or a holder of a temporary/special permit; and
6. Violating any provision of the proposed Act or the implementing rules and regulations thereof.
The bill is co-authored by 35 other legislators. /MVI Palomar