MANILA, Philippines – Filipino doctors and dentists can now practice in other countries that are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has signed an agreement with other ASEAN education ministers for mutual recognition of medical and dental practitioners.
The agreement was signed at the ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting, where Lapus is vice chairman, in Phuket, Thailand. He said a similar agreement was also being negotiated for the mutual recognition of accountants within ASEAN.
“The signing of these agreements means that our doctors, dentists and, later on, certified public accountants may be recognized and can practice in other ASEAN countries and vice versa,” he said. “This translates to a bigger market for our professionals and greater opportunities for employment and professional training.”
“We welcome these developments because these are concrete steps to realize a true ASEAN community that is inclusive, harmonious, and borderless, and one that expands the opportunities for personal growth and development for our countrymen.”
The Mutual Recognition Arrangements on Medical Practitioners and Dental Practitioners will take effect in August.
A Framework Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Accountancy Services is already in its last stages of preparation.
Lapus, recently elected president of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council, said the signing of the Mutual Recognition Arrangements was among the steps being taken by ASEAN to build a true ASEAN Community by 2015.
Filipino doctors and dentists with the following qualifications may apply for recognition in another ASEAN country:
• Valid professional license from the Professional Regulation Commission;
• Has been in active practice as a general medical practitioner or specialist or dentist for not less than five continuous years in the Philippines;
• Has no pending administrative or criminal case in relation to the practice of his profession; and
• Complies with such requirements as may be imposed by the host country.
The agreements also call for the establishment of ASEAN Joint Coordinating Committees on Medical and Dental Practitioners to be comprised of representatives from each ASEAN member state to facilitate the implementation of the agreements in each country.–Rainier Allan Ronda, Philippine Star