President Aquino signs Republic Act regulating forestry practice in the Philippines

MANILA, Oct. 28 (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed Republic Act (RA) 10690 regulating the practice of forestry in the country.

In signing RA 10690 last October 23, the President recognized the importance of professional foresters in nation building and development.

The goal is to develop and nurture competent, globally competitive professional foresters, who will observe the highest standards of excellence.

The law, also known as the Forestry Profession Act, will govern the examination and licensure of professional foresters, supervise and regulate the practice of forestry in the country, and develop and upgrade the curriculum on forestry education.

It will also develop the professional competence of foresters through mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD), as well as integrate forestry as a profession.

The law also mandates the creation of the Professional Regulatory Board for Foresters, which will be under the administrative supervision of the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC).

The board will be composed of a chairperson and two members to be appointed by the President though recommendation from the PRC.

Foresters applying for licensure examinations must be a Filipino citizen with good moral character, and must have completed a bachelor’s degree in forestry, forestry products engineering, or agroforestry from a school, college or university recognized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Anyone practicing forestry without a valid certificate of registration and professional identification card, or attempting to use or is using the seal, certificate of registration and professional identification card of a registered forester, is violating the provisions of RA 10690.

Abetting the illegal practice of forestry by an unauthorized person and securing a certificate through fraudulent means are also punishable under the law.

In carrying out the provisions of RA 10690, the board will be assisted by the PRC, accredited professional organizations, government agencies, and private organizations.

The chairperson of the PRC shall include in the commission’s programs the funding for the forestry board, which will come from the annual government budget. (PNA)