SENATOR Miriam Defensor Santiago has filed a bill to regulate the practice of acupuncture in the country.
Senate Bill 2966 seeks to standardize the practice of acupuncture to ensure that only licenses acupuncturists can perform the treatment.
"This alternative medicine is favored because of the following reasons: it entails a simple procedure; it cures a wide range of diseases; and is known to have good curative effects, compared with other mode of treatments," the senator said.
"However, if the procedure is not performed accurately, it could be harmful for the patient," she added.
Based on traditional Chinese medical concepts and modern oriental medical techniques, acupuncture is a form of primary health care that employs acupuncture diagnosis and treatment, as well as adjunctive therapies and diagnostic techniques, for the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health and the prevention of disease.
Under the bill, a Board of Acupuncture shall be created under the Department of Health. The board will be consisted of two licensed acupuncturists and one layperson who has never been an acupuncturist or member of any closely related profession.
The board will be tasked to adopt rules related to application procedures for inactive status, renewal of inactive licenses, and reactivation of licenses.
Santiago said any person is prohibited to practice acupuncture unless he has been licensed.
To become licensed acupuncturist, the person must be 21 years old, have completed 60 hours of training and study in acupuncture and oriental medicine from an accredited institution, have completed a board-approved national certification process and have passed an examination administered by the board.
A person who wants to practice acupuncture is also required to pay examination and licensure fees worth P500 and P1,000, respectively.
Any person who presents forged documents or attempts to use a license that has been suspended, revoked, or placed on inactive status will be punished with imprisonment of not less than three years or more than eight years, or a fine of not less than P10,000 but not more than P15,000, or both. (Sunnex)