EDITORIAL| Professionalism and integrity

THOSE in the medical, legal, academic and other professions, work hard to be where they are now. They burn the midnight candle, hurdle difficult exams and go through all sorts of painful experiences before they can finally claim to be called a professional.

 A professional is defined as a “person formally certified by a professional body of belonging to a specific profession by virtue of having completed a required course of studies and/or practice. And whose competence can usually be measured against an established set of standards. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition

 In the practice of their profession, they continue to improve themselves and elevate the standards of the career they have chosen. To do that, they band together and form associations for self-regulation and to ensure the ethical standards of behaviour in their practice.

 Optometrists, dentists and lawyers are now openly asking the help of government agencies concerned with regulation to look into the proliferation of scammers that have eroded the integrity of their profession.

 Dr. Jovina Sandra Tom, Mindanao vice-president of the Integrated Philippine Association of Optometrists, urged government regulating bodies and the city government to crackdown on those who are illegally practicing the profession. (See front page story.)

 Tom said that this practice violates Republic Act 8050, the Act Regulating the Practice of Optometry. Violators may be penalized up to P40,000 or possible jail time ranging from one to eight years.

 Lawyer Rogelio Largo, president of the IBP Davao City Chapter, said in an interview last September that they are shocked by reports of illegal notarizations by non-lawyers who counterfeit the notarial seals, stamps and forge the signatures of licensed notaries, and employment of barkers for notarial solicitations, usually in the premises of government offices.

 Even dentists complain that there are people posing as dentists and selling braces which might only hurt the clients in the long run.

 This initiative coming from professional groups is a welcome development and will certainly lead to positive changes in their specific fields of practice.

Posted in Opinion