House panel endorses separate law to regulate physical therapy professionals

The House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulations has endorsed the passage into law of a bill that would regulate the registration, licensure and practice of physical therapy in the country.

Pampanga Rep. Aurelio D. Gonzales Jr., one of the principal authors of the bill, lauded the decision of the House panel as he noted the urgent need to create a separate Board of Physical Therapy under the Professional Regulation Commission.

“The profession of Physical Therapy, as part of allied health sciences, is as important as nursing,” said Gonzalez who filed House Bill 5505.

In his version of the bill, Mt. Province Rep. Maximo Dalog sought the creation of a Board of Physical Therapy that will promulgate, administer and enforce rules and regulations necessary in implementing the law.

The board will also supervise and regulate the registration, licensure and practice of the said profession.

Both Gonzales and Dalog noted the need for a separate law that would be applicable only on the profession of physical therapy as a distinct industry to occupational therapy.

In 2019, Congress passed the Occupational Therapy Law of 2018 that recognized the difference between the two professions. However, the said law applied only to occupational therapy practitioners.

“Physical therapists play an important part in treatment and rehabilitation of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses or injuries. They act as stewards to their patient to help improve their movement and manage their pain,” stressed Gonzales.

He said there are an estimated 13,000 Physical Therapists in the country who will benefit from the law that would help maintain high levels of professional, ethical and technical standards in the said profession.

Under HB 5505, a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of Physical Therapists will be created.

“The measure will also institutionalize the Continuing Professional Education Program. It will also aim for the integration of physical therapists in the country through the formation of a national professional organization for physical therapists,” revealed Gonzales, chairman of the House Special Committee on Bases Conversion.