Speech-language pathologists in the Philippines will now be officially recognized as health care professionals. As of March 6, the Filipino Senate passed Bill No. 462, known as the Speech-Language Pathology Act of 2016. The legislation aims to elevate the profession by introducing regulations and licensure requirements to match existing international standards.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, chair of the Senate committee on civil service and government reorganization, co-authored and sponsored the bill, according to an article in the Manila Bulletin. “It is but proper for the government to uplift the standards and push for the development of this profession through a regulatory framework that fosters continuing professional growth,” Trillanes states.
Although the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists already provides standards and certification for SLPs, the new bill puts in place licensure requirements, including a standardized exam, as well as professional development requirements and other regulations. The bill also stipulates the formation of a Speech-Language Pathology Board—made up of three SLPs who will rotate on a regular basis—to “supervise and regulate the registration, licensure and practice of speech-language pathology in the Philippines.”