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Duterte signs law regulating fisheries profession

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law regulating the practice of the fisheries profession in the Philippines.

Under Republic Act 11398 signed by Duterte on August 22, a five-member Professional Regulatory Board of Fisheries will be created under the supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and will be appointed by the President of the Philippines.

According to the law, the fisheries profession refers to the practice of the science and technical skills of all areas of fisheries including catching, farming, processing, marketing management and conservation of aquatic resources and environment.

The board is mandated to supervise and regulate the licensure, registration and practice of the fisheries profession; suspend or revoke the license of a fisheries professional; adopt measures for the enhancement or maintenance of high professional and ethical standards of the profession; and ensure compliance with the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016, among others.

The chairperson and members of the board will have a term of three years and may be appointed for a second term. Any vacancy in the board will be filled for the unexpired portion of the term only.

Admission into the fisheries profession will require passing the licensure examination to be conducted by the board at least once a year.

To pass the examinations and obtain a license and a professional identification card, candidates must obtain a weighted general average of 75% with no grade lower than 60% in any of the subjects.

The fisheries profession will be integrated into one national professional organization duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

No foreign fisheries professional will be given a certificate of registration and professional identification card, or be entitled to any of the privileges under the law unless the country of that professional specifically permits Filipino fisheries professionals to practice within its territorial limits on the same basis as the subjects or citizens of the foreign country or state.

Prohibited acts, which are punishable by fine, imprisonment or both, include unauthorized practice of the fisheries profession, corporate practice and hiring of unlicensed fisheries professionals. —LDF, GMA News