Great news for all government employees who hold a professional license. Attending Continuing Professional Development (CPD) seminars is now recognized as “official time” according to the recent CSC Memorandum Circular No. 18 released by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
The Civil Service Commission has disseminated a memorandum circular, which provides professionals enough time to comply with the renewal of their PRC license. The memorandum circular serves as an immediate response of CSC to the growing clamor of local professionals over the required CPD units.
The Republic Act 10912, known as the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016, mandates all government and private professionals to complete a number of CPD units prior to the renewal of their licenses. Government workers, who possess a PRC ID, find it difficult to comply due to lack of extra time during weekdays. Public teachers, nurses and career officials also consider the CPD requirements expensive and time-consuming, giving them more burdens to worry about.
As per CSC Memorandum Circular No. 18, full-time government professionals will now be allowed to attend government-accredited seminars for their respective CPD units without worrying about work absences. Even the renewal of their Professional Identification Cards (PICs) is now regarded official, provided that the employees will make prior work agreements with their department head.
The CSC Memorandum Circular No. 18 mentions that attendance of local professionals in CPD seminars shall be regarded as official time only for the sole purpose of completing the required CPD units. Anything in excess of what is mandated under RA 10912 may be subject to the discretion of the department head.
The department heads are expected to maintain the operations of their respective agencies while government professionals are attending the CPD courses. Both parties should come up with a proper manpower schedule to be agreed upon in order not to disrupt government services.
The CPD courses can be considered “appropriate” in satisfying the number of working hours needed for work promotion based on course description and training objectives. For the renewal of their PRC license, the Civil Service Commission has granted all government professionals one day of official time every three years without any salary deduction.
RA 10912 was signed into law, which aims to improve the standard of the profession in the Philippines as well as to elevate the level of competence among Filipino professionals. But the CPD law has become a source of frustration for many government professionals, expressing that the law causes more problems than benefits. Government professionals, particularly those who are residing in rural areas, say that they incur additional expenditures on travel and course materials such as registration fees, reading materials and certificates. The Philippine Regulation Commission is working closely with lawmakers to improve the current Implementing Rules and Regulation even though there are several bills submitted to amend or abolish the CPD law.