The Senate today passed on third reading a bill calling for the professionalization of the practice of geology in the country through the creation of the Professional Regulatory Board of Geology. According to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, author of Senate Bill No. 2941, creating a regulatory body that will be tasked to supervise, control and regulate the practice of geology is not just necessary, but vital to the country's development.
"Geology encompasses a lot of fields, such as surveying or mapping of energy resources such as petroleum, exploring for metallic and non-metallic minerals, study of geohazards due to groundwater pollution, faulting and erosion, among others. Having a regulatory body will ensure that those practicing geology are duly licensed and qualified to practice in their highly specialized fields," Trillanes said.
Under the bill, the board will also be tasked to prescribe the subjects in licensure examinations and issue certificates of registration, professional identification cards and certificates of specialization of profession to applicants who have passed the licensure examinations for professional geologists. The board will also be tasked to issue permits to foreign geologists wanting to practice in the country, and to inquire into conditions affecting the practice of the profession.
"Passage of the bill will allow the regulatory board to inspect establishments where geologists practice their professions such as mines, plants and offices, enforce strict compliance when necessary, to investigate safety violations, and prosecute or institute criminal action against those who refuse to adhere to the board's standards," Trillanes added.
Attuned to present conditions and global standards, SBN 2941 provides for the mandatory continuance of professional education in the field of geology.
"The practice of geology has expanded to various fields, from studying the physical and geomechanical characteristics of rock and soil, to environmental assessment and management, including conservation and biodiversity projects. This shows the need to redefine and expand the scope of the profession," Trillanes said.
The bill also includes a foreign reciprocity clause which prohibits foreigners from practicing geology in the Philippines unless Filipinos are allowed to practice the same profession in their country.