By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid is now seeking passage of a bill that would regulate the practice of physical therapy in the country, saying it was high time to update the law governing physical therapists to make the profession responsive to modern changes.
Lapid, in filing Senate Bill No. 1903, noted that despite the passage of Republic Act No. 11241, known as the “Philippine Occupational Therapy Law of 2018,” no new law was enacted that would address the other side of the profession—physical therapy.
RA No. 11241 modified Republic Act No. 5680 or the Philippine Physical and Occupational Therapy Law, which was passed almost 50 years ago on June 21, 1969.
With the physical therapy profession remaining to be an important sector in the allied health profession, Lapid said it was time lawmakers updated the laws governing physical therapy professionals.
“With advancements in science and technology, there is clearly a need for an update of the law governing physical therapists to make the profession responsive to the changes that have occurred since the past 50 years after the enactment of RA 5680,” Lapid said in the explanatory note of the bill.
The bill primarily seeks to create a separate Board of Physical Therapy which will be tasked to maintain high professional, ethical and technical standards for the practice of physical therapy.
Under the bill, the said Board would be tasked to formulate the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Physical Therapists.
The measure also seeks to institutionalize a continuing professional education program for all physical therapists.
“This bill will also push for the integration of all physical therapists in the country through the formation of a national professional organization of physical therapists,” Lapid said.
“At the same time, it also aims to improve the quality of physical therapy education in the country,” he stressed.