Business group seeks dialogue with DOH.
The Philippine Organizations of Wellness Establishments and Resources, Inc., (POWER) a confederation of professionals and business groups and individuals directly and indirectly engaged in the promotion and development of health and wellness and wellness tourism in the country, is opposing the Department of Health Administrative Order 2010-0034.
The order requires that all masseurs should undergo 60 hours of training prior to issuance of a certificate of registration and license for employment..
Former Undersecretary of Tourism and Development Cynthia Carrion, president of POWER in an interview, said that the DOH directive contradicts President Aquino's call for job creation and employment.
Carrion said that DOH AO requiring masseurs to undergo 60 hours of extensive training module would result in lost of existing jobs and deny prospective masseurs immediate employment.
This is because most masseurs cannot afford the training cost of P8,000 to P11,000 per applicant.
The lady POWER chief explained that wellness tourism was launched in the country purposely to create jobs for people in the grassroots who are mostly not properly educated but have the willingness and dedication to provide the service.
According to POWER, there are some 100,000 masseurs nationwide and if the DOH regulation would be fully implemented by January next year, a great number of them would lose their jobs simply because they cannot afford the expensive DOH fees.
"The fees are very high, and the training modules are not even related (to) or important for practicing masseur," Carrion said.
POWER, in its formal letter to Health Sec. Enrique Ona further explained that the entire industry would collapse due to lack of a licensed practicing masseurs.
Carrion is appealing to Ona for a dialogue to prevent the impending job losses and a host of other problems once the DOH AO is implemented.
Under the AO, masseurs are required to undergo 60 hours of training module studying Anatomy of Physiology, Microbiology, and Pathology, Massage Therapy 1 and 2.
Carrion said that basic knowledge of the topics is important, but POWER believes that massage therapist working in spas and other facilities devoted to relaxation and pampering do not need to pass the DOH licensure examinations.
What is more important is the practical skills, not the theoretical knowhow of masseurs.
"Most massage therapist lack educational attainment, but because of their training many excelled in their skills out of experience and dedication," she pointed out.