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Republic Act No. 10166

Republic Act No. 10166 - AN ACT REGULATING THE PRACTICE OF GEOLOGY IN THE PHILIPPINES , REPEALING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED FOUR THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED NINE (R. A. NO. 4209), OTHERWISE KNOWN AS GEOLOGY PROFESSION ACT OF THE PHILIPPINES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

REPUBLIC ACTS




Republic of the Philippines
CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES
Metro Manila

Fifteenth Congress
Second Regular Session

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-fifth day of July, two thousand eleven.

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10166 June 11, 2012

AN ACT REGULATING THE PRACTICE OF GEOLOGY IN THE PHILIPPINES , REPEALING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED FOUR THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED NINE (R. A. NO. 4209), OTHERWISE KNOWN AS GEOLOGY PROFESSION ACT OF THE PHILIPPINES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

ARTICLE I
TITLE, STATEMENT OF POLICY, DEFINITION OF TERMS AND SCOPE OF PRACTICE

Section 1. Title. This Act shall be known as the "Geology Profession Act of 2012?.

Sec. 2. Statement of Policy. It is hereby declared the policy of the State to supervise and regulate the practice of geology which is vital to national development; upgrade geology education and the quality of geologists whose standards of professional practice shall be excellent, world-class and globally competitive through regulatory measures, programs and activities.

Sec. 3. Objectives. This Act shall govern, but shall not be limited to, the following:

(a) the examination, registration and licensure of geology profession;

(b) the supervision, control and regulation of the practice of geology;

(c) the development of the professional competence of geologists through continuing professional education; and

(d) the integration of the geology profession.

Sec. 4. Definition of Terms. As used in this Act, the following terms shall mean as follows:

(a) Practice of Geology shall mean the offering or rendering of services of any of the specialized branches of geology for a fee, reward or compensation, paid to him/her or through another person or persons, or even without such reward or compensation.

(b) Board shall mean the Board of Geology.

(c) Accredited Professional Organization ( APO ) shall mean the professional organization duly accredited by the Professional Regulatory Board of Geologists and the Professional Regulation Commission.

(d) Continuing Professional Education (CPE) shall mean the inculcation, assimilation and acquisition of knowledge, skills, proficiency and ethical and moral values, after the initial registration of a professional that raise and enhance the professionals technical skills and competence.

Sec. 5. Scope of Practice. A person shall be deemed to be practicing geology or rendering geological service in government, industry and the academe when he/she undertakes geological work for a fee, salary or remuneration. The scope of practice of a geologist shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) General geological survey or mapping, whether onshore or offshore, to identify different types of rocks, geologic structures, metallic and non-metallic mineral deposits and/or energy resources such as petroleum, gas, coal, geothermal systems as well as groundwater resources;

(b) Exploration for metallic and non-metallic mineral resources outside active mining areas and/or mine exploration to locate extensions or mineral deposits inside mine operating areas;

(c) Geological exploration for energy resources like petroleum, gas and coal, nuclear minerals and/or geothermal resources;

(d) Study of geohazards due to faulting, volcanism, ground subsidence, groundwater pollution, weathering and erosion; their characteristics, and impact on housing and infrastructure projects and the environment;

(e) Hydrogeological studies which include search for underground water resources, and determining their characteristics, location, depth and volume, including groundwater vulnerability assessment;

(f) Investigation and study of the physical and geo-mechanical characteristics of rocks and soils;

(g) Gathering, processing and evaluation of geologic data for environmental assessment and management, including conservation and biodiversity projects;

(h) Data processing, petrology, mineragraphy and laboratory studies that require geological knowledge essential in data interpretation and in the preparation of geological report;

(i) Preparation of geological reports in accordance with best practices and applicable laws and regulations;

(j) Teaching of geological courses in any academe program leading to a professional degree, including refresher and review courses; and

(k) Other geologic work or service which, in the assessment and opinion of the Board, constitutes the practice of geology.

The Board, subject to approval by the Commission, may add to or exclude any act as the need arises after consultation with the APO and the academe.

ARTICLE II
CREATION OF THE PROFESSIONAL REGULATORY BOARD OF GEOLOGY

Sec. 6. Composition of the Professional Regulatory Board of Geology. There is hereby created a Professional Regulatory Board of Geology, hereinafter referred to as the Board, under the administrative control and supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, composed of a chairman and two (2) members to be appointed by the President of the Philippines from among those recommended by the Commission from the nominees of the duly APO of geologists. The new Board shall be constituted not later than six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act.

Sec. 7. Powers and Duties of the Board. The Board shall have the following powers and duties:

(a) To supervise and regulate the practice of geology profession;

(b) To determine and evaluate the qualifications of the applicants for registration;

(c) To prescribe the subjects in the licensure examinations, determine the syllabi of the subjects and their relative weights, construct the test questions in the examinations, score and rate the examination papers, and submit the examination results to the Commission;

(d) To issue, together with the Commission, certificates of registration and professional identification cards to applicants who have passed the licensure examinations for professional geologists;

(e) To issue temporary/special permits to foreign geologists to practice the profession;

(f) To inquire into conditions affecting the practice of the profession and adopt measures for the enhancement and maintenance of high professional, ethical and technical standards. Pursuant thereto, the Board may inspect establishments where geologists practice their profession such as mines, plants, offices and the like in order to determine and enforce compliance with the provisions of this Act and issue Certificates of Compliance for the purpose;

(g) In coordination with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), inspect the facilities, faculty, equipment and other aspects directly related to the geology program of educational institutions;

(h) To adopt the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Act;

(i) To adopt a Code of Ethics and a Code of Professional and Technical Standards for the practice of geology profession;

(j) To investigate, in accordance with the rules on administrative investigation promulgated by the Commission, violations of this Act and its IRR, the Code of Ethics and the Code of Professional and Technical Standards for Geologists, administrative policies, orders and issuances promulgated by the Board;

(k) To issue subpoena duces tecum to secure the attendance of witness or the production of documents in connection with administrative cases before the Board;

(l) To hear and decide administrative cases filed against geologists and firms employing the same. The hearing shall be presided by the chairman or a member of the Board with the assistance of an attorney of the Commission. The decision of the Board may be appealed to the Commission and to the court within fifteen (15) days from notice, otherwise the decision shall become final and executory;

(m) To administer oaths in connection with the performance of its functions;

(n) To adopt an official seal and prescribe the seal of the geology profession;

(o) To submit an annual report on the proceedings and accomplishments dining the year and/or recommendations of the Board to the Commission thirty (30) days after the close of each calendar year;

(p) To prosecute or institute criminal action against any violator of this Act and/or rules and regulations of the Board;

(q) To prescribe guidelines and criteria on the CPE program for geology in consultation with the integrated and APO of geologists; and

(r) To perform regulatory, administrative and quasi-legislative functions as mandated under Republic Act No. 8981, otherwise known as the PRC Modernization Act, and such other functions as may be necessary in order to implement the provisions of this Act.

Sec. 8. Qualifications of the Chairman and Members of the Board. The chairman and members of the Board, at the time of the appointment, shall be:

(a) A natural born citizen and resident of the Philippines ;

(b) A holder of at least a bachelors degree in geology as conferred by a university or school of good standing, recognized and accredited by the government;

(c) A registered geologist with a valid certificate of registration and professional identification card and an active practitioner for not less than ten (10) continuous years prior to his/her appointment;

(d) A person who does not have any pecuniary interest, directly or indirectly, in any university, college, school or institution conferring an academic degree necessary for the admission to the practice of geology, or institutions where review classes in preparation for the licensure examinations for geologists are being officially offered or conducted; nor shall he/she be a member of the faculty or of the administration thereof prior to appointment to the Board; and

(e) A member of the APO of geology but not a trustee or officer thereof.

Sec. 9. Terms of Office. The chairman and every member of the Board shall hold office for a term of three (3) years or until their successors shall have been duly appointed. They may be reappointed for another term of three (3) years immediately after the expiry of their term but in no case shall the whole term exceed six (6) years. Interim vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term only.

The chairman and members shall qualify by taking the proper oaths prior to assumption of office.

Sec. 10. Compensation of the Board. The chairman and members of the Board shall receive compensation and allowances comparable to that being received by the chairman and members of other professional regulatory boards under the Commission as provided for in the General Appropriations Act.

Sec. 11. Custodian of Records, Secretariat and Support. All records of the Board, including applications for examinations, examination papers and results, minutes of meetings, deliberations of administrative and other investigative cases involving the Board shall be kept by the Commission. The Commission shall designate the Secretary of the Board and shall provide secretariat and other support services to implement the provisions of this Act.

Sec. 12. Grounds for Suspension or Removal of Board Chairman/Members. The President, upon the recommendation of the Commission after due process and administrative investigation conducted by the Commission, may remove or suspend a chairman or member of the Board on any of the following grounds:

(a) gross neglect, incompetence or dishonesty in the discharge of their duty;

(b) violation of any of the causes/grounds and the prohibited acts provided in this Act and the offenses in the Revised Penal Code, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices, and other laws; or

(c) manipulation or rigging of the results of the geology licensure examination, disclosure of secret and confidential information on the examination questions prior to the conduct thereof, or tampering of grades.

Sec. 13. Annual Report. The Board shall submit an annual report to the Commission after the close of each fiscal year giving detailed account of Board proceedings during the year and embodying such recommendations as the Board may desire to make.

ARTICLE III
LICENSURE EXAMINATION AND REGISTRATION

Sec. 14. Passing of Licensure Examination Requirement. Except as otherwise specifically allowed under this Act, applicants for registration for the practice of geology shall be required to pass a licensure examination as provided for in this Act.

Sec. 15. Holding of Examination. Examination of candidates applying for registration as geologist shall be given at least once a year in such places and dates as the Commission may designate in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 8981, otherwise known as the PRC Modernization Act.

Sec. 16. Scope of Examination. In the licensure examination for geologist, the scope of examinations, methods and procedures shall be prescribed by the Board. The licensure examination shall cover, but shall not be limited to, the following subjects:

(a) General Geology;

(b) Petrology and Mineralogy; and

(c) Applied Geology.

The Board, subject to approval by the Commission, may revise or exclude any of the subjects and their syllabi, and add new ones as the need arises to conform to technological changes brought about by continuing trends in the profession: Provided, That a detailed syllabi of the above examinations covering the whole aspects of the geology profession and practice shall be prepared by the Board.

Sec. 17. Qualifications for Examinations. The qualifications required for applicants to the licensure examination for geology are the following:

(a) He/She is a citizen of the Philippines or a foreign citizen whose country has reciprocity agreement with the Philippines ;

(b) A graduate of a school, institute, college or university recognized by the government and has been conferred the degree of Bachelor of Science in Geology, Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering, Master of Science in Geology, or their equivalent degrees;

(c) Has good moral character; and

(d) Has not been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of an offense involving moral turpitude.

Sec. 18. Examination Fees. Any applicant admitted to take the geology licensure examination shall pay such fees as may be prescribed by the Commission before he/she is allowed to take the examination.

Sec. 19. Rating in the Licensure Examination. To pass the licensure examination for geology, a candidate must obtain a general weighted average of no less than seventy per centum (70%) and a rating of no less than fifty per centum (50%) in any examination subject.

Sec. 20. Report of Ratings. The Board shall complete the correction of examination papers within three (3) days from the last day of examinations. The Commission shall report the rating of examinees not more than ten (10) days after the Board has completed the correction of examination papers.

Sec. 21. Issuance of Certificates of Registration and Professional Identification Card. A certificate of registration shall be issued to those who are registered with or without licensure examination subject to payment of fees prescribed by the Commission. It shall bear the signatures of the Chairperson of the Commission and of the chairman and members of the Board, stamped with the official seal of the Commission and of the Board, certifying that the person named therein is entitled to the practice of the profession with all the privileges appurtenant thereto. Until withdrawn, revoked or suspended in accordance with this Act, it shall remain in full force and effect.

A professional identification card bearing the registration number and date, its validity and expiry duly signed by the Chairperson of the Commission shall likewise be issued to every registrant who has paid the prescribed fees. The said card shall be renewed every three (3) years upon mandatory submission of the CPE units, as may be required by the Board.

Sec. 22. Issuance of Certificates of Specialization. Upon nomination of the APO of geologists, the Board shall issue a Certificate of Specialization to an applicant who is a registered geologist and who has specialized knowledge, training and experience in a specific field of geology and has documented his/her expertise and competence on the same.

Sec. 23. Seal of a Registered Geologist. Every geologist shall, upon registration, obtain a seal as prescribed by the Board. Plans, specifications, reports and other professional documents prepared by or executed under the supervision of and issued by the registrant shall he stamped on every sheet with the said seal when filed officially or when submitted for professional use.

Sec. 24. Fees for Registration. Every person issued a Certificate of Registration shall pay to the Commission such fees as the Commission may prescribe.

Sec. 25. Issuance of Temporary/Special Permits. Temporary/specialpermits shall he issued to the following upon proper application with the Board:

(a) foreign geologists, recognized as experts in then-specific fields of geology, called in by the Republic of the Philippines for consultation or for specific design, installation or project: Provided, That their practice shall be confined to such work only;

(b) foreign geologists who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields of specialization, contracted as professors or lecturers on geology subjects by Philippine schools, colleges, institutes or universities on a direct hire or exchange basis, subject to verification of credentials by the Board; or

(c) foreign geologists who are duly registered under bilateral or multilateral agreements where the Philippines is a signatory.

Provided, That all the above shall secure a temporary/special permit from the Board prior to arrival in the Country: Provided, further, That the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall not issue an alien employment permit to a foreigner who will practice a profession in the Philippines unless he/she shall have been issued by the Board and Commission a temporary/special permit pursuant to a resolution approved by the foregoing bodies.

Sec. 26. Exemption from Licensure Examination. A graduate of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Geology or an equivalent degree in any of the specialized branch of Geology from a duly recognized university shall be exempted from taking the licensure examination upon evaluation of the Board. He/She shall be required to register in the same manner as those who will pass the licensure examination.

Sec. 27. Refusal to Register. The Board shall notregister any successful applicant for registration, with or without licensure examination, who has been:

(a) convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude by a court of competent jurisdiction;

(b) found guilty of immoral or dishonorable conduct by the Board;

(c) adjudged guilty for violation of the General Instruction to Examinees by the Board; and

(d) declared of unsound mind by a court of competent jurisdiction.

In refusing such registration, the Board shall give the applicant a written statement setting forth the reasons therefore and shall file a copy thereof in its records.

Sec. 28. Revocation or Suspension of the Certificate of Registration and Cancellation of Temporary /Special Permit. The Board shall have the power, upon notice of hearing, to revoke or suspend the certificate of registration of a registered geologist or to cancel a temporary/special permit granted to a foreign geologist, for any of the grounds or causes enumerated in Section 27 of this Act, except in letter (c) thereof, and for any of the following grounds:

(a) violation of a provision of this Act, its IRR, Code of Ethics, and Code of Professional and Technical Standards for the practice of geology;

(b) perpetration or use of fraud in obtaining his/her certificate of registration, professional identification card, or temporary/special permit;

(c) gross incompetence, negligence or ignorance resulting to death, injury or damage;

(d) any act of misrepresentation in connection with an alleged performance of geological activities;

(e) acts inimical to the geology profession;

(f) gross immorality;

(c) conviction by final judgment of any act involving moral turpitude;

(d) aiding or abetting the illegal practice of a non-registered and non-licensed geologist by allowing him/her to use his/her certificate of registration and/or professional identification card, or his/her temporary/special permit;

(e) illegally practicing the profession during his/her suspension from the practice thereof; and

(f) clinically declared to be addicted to a drug or alcohol abuse impairing his/her ability to practice his/her profession, or declared with an unsound mind by a court of competent, jurisdiction.

Any person, firm or association may file charges in accordance with the provision of this section against any registrant, or the Board may investigate violation of any of the abovementioned causes. An affidavit-complaint shall be filed together with the affidavits of witnesses and other documentary evidence with the Board through the Legal and Investigation Office. The Board may motu proprio conduct an investigation which shall be embodied in a formal charge to be signed by at least a majority of the members of the Board. The rules on administrative investigation issued by the Commission shall govern the hearing or investigation subject to applicable provisions of this Act, Republic Act No. 8981 and the Rules of Court.

Sec. 29. Reissuance of Revoked Certificate of Registration and Replacement of Lost Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card. The Board may, after two (2) years from the date of revocation of the certificate of registration, reissue a certificate upon proper application.

A new certificate of registration and professional identification card, or temporary/special permit, which has been lost, destroyed or mutilated, may be reissued after payment of the required fee prescribed by the Commission.

ARTICLE IV
PRACTICE OF GEOLOGY

Sec. 30. Prohibition from Practicing Geology. No person shall practice geology or render geological service without a valid certificate of registration and a valid professional identification card or granted a temporary/special permit.

Sec. 31. Who May Practice Geology. Except as may be otherwise provided in this Act, only persons properly licensed and registered may practice geology in the country. Duly registered professional geologists may form partnerships among themselves and use the title "Geologist" or "Registered Geologist" in their partnership name.

Sec. 32. Vested Rights. All practicing geologists who are registered at the time of the passage of this Act shall automatically be registered and issued certificates of registration subject to existing rules and regulations.

Sec. 33. Foreign Reciprocity. No foreign geologist shall be granted any of the rights and privileges under this Act unless the country of which he/she is a subject or citizen grants the same or similar rights or privileges to Filipino geologists.

Sec. 34. Indication of Certificate of Registration and Professional Tax Receipt. A registered geologist shall be required to indicate his/her certificate of registration number, the duration of validity, including the professional tax and the APO membership receipt number on the documents he/she signs, uses or issues in connection with the practice of his/her profession.

Sec. 35. Integration of the Geology Profession. The geology profession shall be integrated into one (1) national professional organization of geologists that is duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Board, subject to approval by the Commission, shall accredit the said organization as the one and only integrated and APO of geologists. All geologists whose names appear in the Registry Book of Geologists shall ipso facto or automatically become members thereof and shall receive all the benefits and privileges appurtenant thereto upon payment of APO membership fees and dues.

Membership in the integrated APO shall not be a bar to membership in other geology organizations.

ARTICLE V
PENAL AND GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 36. Penal Clause. Any person who shall practice geology in the Philippines, as denned in this Act, without a certificate of registration in accordance with the provisions of this Act, unless declared exempt from registration, or any person presenting or using as his/her own the certificate of registration of another, or any person who shall give any false or forged evidence, or any person who shall impersonate any registrant of like or different name, or any person who shall use a revoked or suspended certificate of registration, or any person who shall assume, use or advertise any title or description tending to convey the impression that he/she is a geologist without having graduated as such, or is engaged in geology practice, without holding a valid certificate of registration from the Board shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to a fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (PhP 10,000.00) but not more than One million pesos (PhP 1,000,000.00) or imprisonment of not less than one (1) month but not more than five (5) years, or both, at the discretion of the court.

Sec. 37. Act Not Affecting Other Professions. This Act shall not affect or prevent the practice of any other legally recognized profession.

Sec. 38. Enforcement of the Act by the Officers of the Law. The Board shall be assisted by the Commission in carrying out the provisions of this Act, its IRR and other policies. The lawyers of the Commission shall act as prosecutors against illegal practitioners and other violators of this Act and its rules. The duly constituted authorities of government shall likewise assist the Board and the Commission in enforcing the provisions of this Act and its rules.

Sec. 39. Implementing Rules and Regulations. Subject to the approval of the Commission, the Board, in consultation with other related agencies, shall adopt and promulgate such IRR, the Code of Ethics, and the Code of Professional and Technical Standards for Geologists to carry out the provisions of this Act which shall be effective within ninety (90) days from the constitution of the first Board.

Sec. 40. Funding Provisions. The Chairperson of the Professional Regulation Commission shall immediately include in its programs the implementation of this Act, the funding of which shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

Sec. 41. Transitory Provisions.

(a) After the approval of this Act, all geologists possessing valid certificates of registration issued under Republic Act No. 4209 shall register with the Board and be issued certificates as geologists under this Act to replace their original certificates of registration, upon payment of the required fees.

(b) Faculty members currently teaching major geology subjects in universities, colleges, institutes or schools shall not be allowed to continue teaching after five (5) years from the approval of this Act unless they are or they have become registered geologists with valid certificates of registration and valid professional identification cards.

(c) The incumbent chairman and members of the Board shall continue to function as an interim Board until such time as a new Board shall be constituted under this Act.

Sec. 42. Separability Clause. If any section or portion of this Act shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid, such shall not invalidate any other section of this Act.

Sec. 43. Repealing Clause. Republic Act No. 4209 is hereby repealed. All other laws, parts of law, orders, ordinances or regulations relative to the practice of geology which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Sec. 44. Effectivity Clause. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.

Approved:

(Sgd.) FELICIANO BELMONTE JR.
Speaker of the House of Representatives
(Sgd.) JUAN PONCE ENRILE
President of the Senate

This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2941 and House Bill No. 5640 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on September 19, 2011 and March 7, 2012 , respectively.


(Sgd.) MARILYN B. BARUA-YAP
Secretary General
House of Representatives

(Sgd.) EMMA LIRIO-REYES
Secretary of Senate

Approved: JUNE 11, 2012

(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines



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