The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Health (DOH) have agreed to work together to harmonize the government's program for massage therapists in the country.
Amid this development, DOH acting Secretary Janette Garin announced a three-year moratorium on the department's administrative order related to the licensing of masseurs and masseuses. The moratorium took effect January 2015 and will last up to December 2017.
DOH Administrative Order No. 2010-0034 dated December 10, 2010 entitled Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations Governing Massage Clinics and Sauna Establishments, provides that no person is authorized to practice massage as a profession without holding a valid Certificate of Registration issued by the Committee of Examiners for Massage Therapy and approved by the Department of Health. This has been implemented since January 2011.
But under the Joint Memorandum Circular 2015-001 signed between TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva and the DOH represented by Garin, the minimum requirement in the practice of the profession by massage therapists should be the possession of a TESDA valid National Certificate in Massage Therapy NC II during the moratorium period.
Villanueva said that a composite team of TESDA and DOH experts will immediately work out a process that will harmonize the implementation of training, assessment and certification/licensure of massage therapists.
"We want to regulate the practice of massage therapy to ensure that only qualified individuals could get in the profession, and to improve the standard for the service," he said.
"This has become imperative as massage therapy has become one of the in demand courses in TESDA," he added.
Villanueva said the initiative of TESDA and DOH to harmonize the program on massage therapy would attract more students into the course and promote it as a viable career.
The following are not covered by the DOH moratorium and should continue operation:
· The accreditation of training providers by the DOH for the licensure examination;
· Registration of training programs with TESDA on Massage Therapy NC II and Hilot Massage (Wellness) NC II;
· Conduct of training on Massage Therapy NC II and Hilot Massage (Wellness) NC II by technical vocational institutions with
· TESDA registered programs;
· Accreditation of assessment centers and competency assessors in the mentioned qualifications by TESDA; and,
· Conduct of the competency assessment in the mentioned qualifications. END