Are psychologists required to be licensed under RA 9258?
Psychologists must be licensed if they want to practice guidance and/or counseling as stipulated in RA 9258. The scope of practice covered by this law includes such functions as counseling, psychological testing, research, placement, group processes, teaching of guidance and counseling subjects in such sites as educational institutions, rehabilitation centers, non-governmental organizations, community-based agencies, hospital and other workplaces. The Professional Regulatory Board will act only based upon the provisions of the law. If you do not agree/not satisfied, recourse can be sought with the regular court or the Department of Justice.
Who is qualified to be licensed under RA 9258?
If the provision of the law is clear, there is no need for such an interpretation. As stated in the law, those who have Bachelor’s degree in Guidance & Counseling, MA Guidance & Counseling, PhD Guidance & Counseling are qualified to be licensed.
Can I seek registration without taking the examination?
If you have an MA & PhD in Guidance & Counseling with certain number of years of experience, you can be registered without taking the licensure examination. For example, those with Ph.D or M.A. in Guidance and Counseling with at least 3 years of counseling practice can be registered.
What if I find ambiguity in any provision of the law?
Write the Professional Regulatory Board (PRB) for clarification and seek their opinion. The power to interpret the provisions of the law rests on the PRB, but a complaint can be filed in the courts to challenge the law.
If your degree falls within the provisions of the law, then there is nothing to fear, you just have to present your transcript and certification of your practice.
The PRB went to the extent of expanding on the provisions. There must be consistency between the law and the IRR. The purpose of the IRR is to put details that are not in the law. This consists of procedures and steps on how to carry out the provisions of the law.
The PRB has the power to suspend the implementation of the law. If you think the provisions of the IRR are not valid or unconstitutional, you can file this complaint in the court. But the PRB itself has the authority not to carry it out if they believe that it is not valid.
What is the implication of RA 9258 for Psychological Centers?
If you are practicing Psychology without overlapping with the functions of Guidance Counselors, then you can continue your practice. Otherwise, your practice is illegal.
(The IRR defines guidance and counseling as the profession that involves the use of an integrated approach to the development of a well-functioning individual primarily by helping him/her to utilize his/her potentials to the fullest and plan his/her future in accordance with his/her abilities.)
What is the implication of RA 9258 for those currently hired as Guidance Counselors?
Be guided by the provisions, the rules and regulations. You can apply for registration without examination, provided you were able to comply with the provisions of the law.
You can continue occupying your position until you have applied for Grandfather’s clause. Try to be registered within 2-year period after the composition of the board. If you continue to practice not having complied with the provisions, you risk imprisonment.
I question the validity/constitutionality of the law and its IRR. What are my options? What is the recourse of psychologists?
Atty. Ambrosio: Continue practicing and wait for someone to question; proactively, ask for opinion of the Secretary of Justice; push through or lobby for the passage of the Psychology Bill.
Atty. Te: Challenge the law; clarify what the law means as it applies to Psychology; ask for Declaratory Relief (which can be done by an individual or by groups of individuals); clarify the overlaps in definitions stipulated in the Guidance Law.
Atty. Almelor: The law has recognized the practice of Guidance Counseling; we should not resort to any step that violates the law.
As distributor of test materials, does the law mean that I can sell only to licenced Guidance Counselors?
The law has no prohibition against selling to anyone.