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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Licensed massage therapists urged to take care of profession and industry

by Carina L Cayon

DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Jan. 31 (PIA) -- An official of the Department of Health has called on the Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) in the region to practice their profession within the scope of the law to ensure public safety.

Dr. Josephine Hipolito of DOH-Manila told the newly-sworn in LMTs to take care of their profession and the industry, following a strengthened advocacy in professionalizing the massage therapy as a career and as an industry.

“Our purpose is for the public to be safe in your hands,” stated Hipolito who administered the oath-taking of 40 LMTs from across Davao Region on Jan. 27 at the Grand Menseng Hotel, Davao City.

In a bid to professionalize the massage therapy industry in the country, the DOH has intensified its information and dissemination campaign on DOH Administrative Order No. 2010-0034 of 2010 stipulating the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the operations of massage clinics.

Under the revised IRR, Hipolito said that all massage clinics and sauna bath establishments are required to have their therapists take and pass the Licensure Examination within three years.

“So that by 2014, all massage therapists in spa establishments must be licensed,” she stated.

In an interview, Ma. Corazon Mendez of DOH Region XI explained the need to regulate the industry following the proliferation of massage establishments that made massage services as front to prostitution or the offer of “extra service.”

The initiative of the DOH to strongly push and campaign for professionalizing the massage industry aims to eradicate this specific concern, stated Mendez, chief of DOH-XI human resource development unit.

“DOH believes that as LMTs, you do not practice extra service,” Hipolito told the new LMTs during her keynote message at the oath-taking rites.

She said that titles such as masseurs, masseuses and attendants are no longer used, as they are replaced by the term therapist which she said is more proper.

In the new regulation, aspiring massage therapists are required to enroll and complete the Course Work for Massage Therapy which has five major subject areas such as Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Pathology and Massage Therapy.

“Enrolling in the Course Work for Massage Therapy is like going to college because the accredited training institutions are using this manual,” Hipolito stated.

Presidential Decree No. 856 of 1975 or the “Code on Sanitation of the Philippines” mandates the operations of massage establishments under Chapter XIII entitled “Massage Clinics and Sauna Bath Establishments” of which IRR has been revised in 2010. (PIA-11/Carina L. Cayon)

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