Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Third Regular Session
Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-eighth day of July, two thousand three.
[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9246]
AN ACT MODERNIZING THE PRACTICE OF LIBRARIANSHIP IN THE PHILIPPINES THEREBY REPEALING REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6966, ENTITLED: “AN ACT REGULATING THE PRACTICE OF LIBRARIANSHIP AND PRESCRIBING THE QUALIFICATIONS OF LIBRARIANS,” APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
TITLE, STATEMENT OF POLICY, DEFINITION
OF TERMS, SCOPE OF THE PRACTICE
SECTION 1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as “The Philippine Librarianship Act of 2003.”
SEC 2. Statement of Policy. – The State recognizes the essential role of librarianship as a profession in developing the intellectual capacity of the citizenry thus making library service a regular component for national development. It shall, through honest, effective and credible licensure examination and regulatory measures, undertake programs and activities that would promote and nurture the professional growth and well-being of competent, virtuous, productive and well-rounded librarians whose standards of practice and service shall be characterized by excellence, quality, and geared towards world-class global competitiveness.
SEC 3. Objectives. – This Act shall govern the following:
(a) National examination for licensure, registration of librarians, issuance of Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card;
(b) Supervision, control and regulation of practice of librarianship;
(c) Integration of librarians under one national organization; and
(d) Development of professional competence of librarians.
SEC 4. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act, the following terms shall be defined:
(a) Librarian – refers to an individual who is a bona fide holder of a Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card issued by the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians and by the Professional Regulation Commission in accordance with this Act.
(b) Commission – refers to the Professional Regulation Commission.
(c) Board – refers to the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians.
SEC 5. Scope of the Practice of Librarianship. – Librarianship shall deal with the performance of the librarian’s functions, which shall include, but not be limited to the following:
(1) Selection and acquisition of multi-media sources of information which would best respond to clientele’s need for adequate, relevant and timely information;
(2) Cataloguing and classification of knowledge or sources of information into relevant organized collections and creation of local databases for speedy access, retrieval or delivery of information;
(3) Development of computer-assisted/computer-backed information systems which would permit online and network services;
(4) Establishment of library systems and procedures; dissemination of information; rendering of information, reference and research assistance; archiving; and education of users;
(5) Teaching, lecturing and reviewing of library, archives and information science subjects, including subjects given in the licensure examination;
(6) Rendering of services involving technical knowledge/expertise in abstracting, indexing, cataloguing and classifying; or the preparation of bibliographies, subject authority lists, thesauri and union catalogues/lists;
(7) Preparation, evaluation or appraisal of plans, programs and/or projects for the establishment, organization, development and growth of libraries or information centers, and the determination of library requirements for space, buildings, structures or facilities;
(8) Provision of professional and consultancy services or advice on any aspect of librarianship; and
(9) Organization, conservation, preservation and restoration of historical and cultural documents and other intellectual properties.
CREATION OF THE PROFESSIONAL
REGULATORY BOARD FOR LIBRARIANS
SEC 6. Creation and Composition of the Board. – There is hereby created a Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians, hereinafter called the Board, under the administrative supervision and control of the Professional Regulation Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, to be composed of a Chairperson and two (2) members who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines from among the list of three (3) recommendees for each position submitted by the Commission from among the list of five (5) nominees for each position submitted by the accredited, integrated national professional organization of librarians from among the librarians of recognized standing who qualify under SEC 7 of this Act. The new Board shall be constituted within three (3) months from the effectivity of this Act.
SEC 7. Qualifications of Members of the Board. – The Chairperson and members of the Board, at the time of their appointment, shall possess the following qualifications:
(a) A natural born citizen and resident of the Philippines;
(b) A good reputation and moral character;
(c) A librarian as defined in “section 4(a)” of this Act;
(d) Active in the practice of librarianship for at least ten (10) years, five (5) years of which is in a managerial position;
(e) Must not be a member of the faculty of a university, college, school or institution conferring the academic degree on librarianship, or offering review classes for librarian licensure examination; nor a person who has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any such institution; and
(f) Must not be an incumbent officer of the accredited, integrated national professional organization of librarians.
SEC 8. Powers, Functions and Duties of the Board. – The Board shall exercise executive/administrative, rule making and quasi-judicial powers in carrying out the provisions of this Act. It shall be vested with the following specific powers, functions, duties and responsibilities:
(a) To promulgate and administer rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act;
(b) To administer oaths in connection with the administration of this Act;
(c) To adopt an official seal of the Board;
(d) To issue, suspend or revoke the Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card or grant or cancel a temporary/special permit;
(e) To look into the conditions affecting the practice of librarianship, and when necessary, adopt such measures as may be deemed proper for the enhancement and maintenance of high ethical, moral and professional standards of librarianship;
(f) To adopt policies and set the standards for all types of libraries, librarians and the practice of librarianship;
(g) To ensure, in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), that all institutions offering library, archives and information science education comply with prescribed standards for curriculum, faculty and facilities for course offerings of library science, or library and information science;
(h) To adopt and prescribe a Code of Ethics and a Code of Technical Standards for Librarians;
(i) To hear and decide administrative cases involving violations of this Act, its Implementing Rules and Regulations or the Code of Ethics or the Code of Technical Standards for Librarians; and for this purpose, issue subpoena ad testificandum and subpoena duces tecum to ensure the appearance of witnesses and the presentation of documents in connection therewith;
(j) To prescribe guidelines in the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) in coordination with the accredited and integrated association for professional librarians;
(k) To prepare, adopt, issue or amend the syllabi or terms of specification of subjects for the librarian licensure examination consistent with the policies and standards set by the CHED; and
(l) To discharge other powers and duties as the Board may deem necessary for the practice of librarianship and the continued growth and development of librarians, libraries and library education in the Philippines.
The policies, resolutions, rules and regulations issued or promulgated by the Board shall be subject to review and approval of the Commission. However, the Board’s decision, resolution or order rendered in administrative case shall be subject to review only if on appeal.
SEC 9. Term of Office. – The Chairperson and the members of the Board shall hold office for a term of three (3) years until their successors shall have been appointed and duly qualified: Provided, That members of the first Board to be appointed after the approval of this Act shall hold office for the following terms: the Chairperson for three (3) years, one member for two (2) years and the other member for one (1) year: Provided further, That the Chairperson or any member may be reappointed for another term of three (3) years but in no case shall the whole term exceed six (6) years. Interim vacancies in the Board shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term only. Each member shall take the proper oath of office.
SEC 10. Compensation of the Board. – The Chairperson and members of the Board shall receive compensation and allowances comparable to that being received by the Chairperson and members of existing regulatory boards under the Commission as provided for in the General Appropriations Act.
SEC 11. Removal or Suspension of Board Members. – The Chairperson or any member of the Board may be removed or suspended by the President of the Philippines on recommendation of the Commission if found guilty after a proper administrative investigation, based on the following grounds: neglect of duty, incompetence, unprofessional, unethical, immoral or dishonorable conduct; any violation of this Act, or the Code of Ethics and the Code of Technical Standards for Librarians; or commission or toleration of irregularities in the examination such as manipulation, rigging of examination results, disclosure of secrets and information on examination questions prior to conduct of examination, tampering of grades or final judgment, or criminal offense involving moral turpitude.
SEC 12. Executive Officer and the Secretary of the Board. – The Chairperson of the Commission shall be the Executive Officer of the Board and shall conduct the licensure examination for librarians. The Commission shall designate the Secretary of the Board and shall provide the Secretariat and other support services to implement the provisions of this Act.
All records of the Board including the examination papers, minutes of deliberations, and records of administrative proceedings and investigations shall be kept by the Commission under the direct custody of the Secretary.
SEC 13. Annual Report. – The Board shall submit to the Commission after the close of each calendar year, its annual report of accomplishments which shall include a detailed account of the operation of the Board for the year and the appropriate recommendation on issues or problems affecting the profession.
LICENSURE EXAMINATION AND REGISTRATION
SEC 14. Examinations. – Applicants for registration, except those specifically allowed under SEC 19 of this Act, shall be required to undergo a written licensure examination to be given by the Board in such places and dates the Commission may designate subject to compliance with the requirements prescribed by the Commission.
SEC 15. Qualifications of Applicants. – Applicants for licensure examination must meet the following qualifications at the time of filing of applications:
(a) Citizen of the Philippines or a foreign citizen whose country has reciprocity with the Philippines as regards the practice of librarianship;
(b) Good health and good moral character; and
(c) Graduate of Bachelor’s degree in Library Science and Information Science: Provided, That a holder of a master’s degree in Library and Information Science shall be allowed to qualify for application to the licensure examinations: Provided, further; That within five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act, holders of the following degrees shall also be allowed to qualify for application to the licensure examination:
(1) Bachelor of Science in Education or Elementary Education; or Bachelor of Arts with a major or specialization in Library Science;
(2) Master of Arts in Library Science or Library and Information Science; or
(3) Any masteral degree with concentration in Library Science.
SEC 16. Scope of Examination. – The licensure examination for librarianship shall consist of the following subjects:
(1) selection and acquisition of multi-media sources of information;
(2) cataloguing and classification;
(3) indexing and abstracting;
(4) reference, bibliography and information services;
(5) organization, management and development and maintenance of multi-media based library or information service, laws, trends and practices affecting the profession; and
(6) information technology.
The Board is hereby authorized to modify or add to the subjects listed above as the needs and demands in the library profession may require.
SEC 17. Rating in the Board Examination. – To be qualified as having passed the licensure examination, a candidate must obtain a weighted general average of seventy-five percent (75%), with no grade lower than fifty percent (50%) in any subject.
SEC 18. Report of Results of Examination. – The Board shall report to the Commission the results of the examination and the ratings of the examinees within ten (10) days after the examination.
SEC 19. Registration Without Examination. – Upon application and payment of the required fees, the Board shall issue a Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card to an applicant who, on the date of effectivity of Republic Act No. 6966, is:
(a) a practicing librarian who has completed at least a bachelor’s degree and a librarian or supervising librarian eligible;
(b) a practicing librarian who has completed at least a bachelor’s degree, eighteen (18) units in Library Science, five (5) years experience in librarianship, and a first grade eligible or its equivalent;
(c) a practicing librarian who has completed a masteral degree in Library Science or Library and Information Science, and a first grade eligible or its equivalent; or
(d) a practicing librarian who has completed at least a bachelor’s degree, eighteen (18) units in Library Science, and seven (7) years experience in librarianship.
Those who qualify under this section shall be given three (3) years within which to apply for registration upon the effectivity of this Act.
SEC 20. Issuance of Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card. – The Commission, on recommendation of the Board, shall issue a Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card to each person who passed the licensure examination for librarians and to those who are registered without examination under this Act and shall enter the name of the registered professional in the Roster of Philippine Librarians.
The Certificate of Registration shall bear the signature of the Chairperson of the Commission and the Chairperson and members of the Board, stamped with the official seals of the Board and the Commission indicating that the person named therein is entitled to the practice of the profession with all the privileges appurtenant thereto. The said certificate of registration shall remain in full force and effect until suspended or revoked in accordance with this Act.
A professional identification card bearing the name and signature of the registrant, registration number, date of issuance, expiry date, duly signed by the Chairperson of the Commission, shall likewise be issued to every registrant who has paid the prescribed fee.
SEC 21. Oath of Profession. – All successful examinees qualified for registration and all qualified applicants for registration without examination shall be required to take an oath of profession before any Commission Officer, or member of the Board or any government official authorized to administer oaths, prior to entering into the practice of librarianship in the Philippines.
SEC 22. Refusal to Issue Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card. – The Board shall not register any successful examinee nor any applicant for registration without examination if he/she has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude or has been found guilty of immoral and dishonorable conduct after investigation of the Board, or has been declared to be of unsound mind. The reason for the refusal shall be set forth in writing.
SEC 23. Revocation and Suspension of Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card or Cancellation of Temporary/Special Permit. – The Board has the power, after due notice and hearing, to revoke or suspend the Certificate of Registration or cancel a temporary or special permit of any librarian on any ground stated under section 22 of this Act, or for any of the following: unprofessional or dishonorable conduct; malpractice; incompetence; serious ignorance or negligence in the practice of librarianship; fraud; deceit or falsification in obtaining a certificate of registration, professional identification card, or temporary/special permit; abetment of illegal practice by allowing illegal use of his/her certificate of registration, or professional identification card, or temporary/special permit; practice of profession during the period of suspension; or any violation of this Act, its Implementing Rules and Regulations, the Code of Ethics or the Code of Technical Standards for Librarians, or Board policies. The respondent may appeal the Board’s decision, order/resolution to the Commission within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof.
SEC 24. Reissuance of Revoked Certificate of Registration and Replacement of Lost Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card. – The Board after two (2) years from the date of revocation of the Certificate of Registration may reissue a certificate upon proper application.
A new Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card or temporary/special permit, which has been lost, destroyed or mutilated, may be reissued after payment of the required fee prescribed by the Commission.
SEC 25. Roster of Librarians. – The Board, in coordination with the accredited and integrated national organization of librarians, shall maintain an up-to-date, complete and properly organized Roster, which shall include those who had been issued Certificates of Registration under Republic Act No. 6966 and those who shall qualify under this Act, to contain the following data:
(a) alphabetical list by surname of librarians with their addresses and license numbers;
(b) the list of licensees, numerically arranged by license numbers; and
(c) such other lists which the Board may deem necessary.
Copies of the Roster, which shall be provided to the National Library, the Civil Service Commission, and the accredited national organization of librarians, shall be kept as permanent record.
PRACTICE OF LIBRARIANSHIP
SEC 26. Illegal Practice of Librarianship. – A person who does not have a valid Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card or a temporary/special permit from the Commission shall not practice or offer to practice librarianship in the Philippines or assume any position, which involve performing the function of a librarian as provided under SEC 5 of this Act.
SEC 27. Certificate of Registration/Professional Identification Card and Professional Tax Receipt. – The Certificate of Registration, Professional Identification Card and Professional Tax Receipt number of the librarian shall be reflected in any document issued/signed in connection with the practice of the profession.
SEC 28. Foreign Reciprocity. – A librarian from another country shall be admitted for licensure examination, be issued a Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card and be entitled to the rights and privileges appurtenant to this Act, if the country or state he/she is a citizen of or subject, permits Filipino librarians to practice librarianship on an equal basis as the librarians of said country or state: Provided, That the requirements for Certificate of Registration in said country or state are substantially the same as the requirements under this Act: Provided, further, That the law of such country or state grants Filipino librarians the same privileges as the citizens/subjects of that country/state.
SEC 29. Vested Rights: Automatic Registration of Practicing Librarians. – All practicing librarians who are registered at the time this Act takes effect shall automatically be registered.
SEC 30. Integrated and Accredited National Organization of Librarians. – All registered librarians shall be integrated under a single organization recognized and accredited by the Board and approved by the Commission.
A librarian duly registered and licensed by the Board and the Commission shall automatically become a member of the integrated and accredited professional organization and shall receive the benefits and privileges appurtenant thereto upon payment of the required fees and dues. Membership in the integrated and accredited professional organization shall not be a bar to membership in any other association of librarians.
SEC 31. Employment of Librarians. – Only qualified and licensed librarians shall be employed as librarians in all government libraries. Local government units shall be given a period of three (3) years from the approval of this Act to comply with this provision.
PENAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS
SEC 32. Penal Provisions. – Any person who practices or offers to practice any function of a librarian as provided for under SEC 5 of this Act who is not registered and has not been issued by the Commission a Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card, or a temporary license/permit or who violates any of the provisions of this Act, its Implementing Rules and Regulations, shall, upon conviction, be penalized by a fine of not less than Thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00) nor more than One hundred-thousand pesos (P100,000.00), or imprisonment of not less than one (1) month nor more than three (3) years at the discretion of the court.
SEC 33. Funding Provision. – The Chairperson of the Professional Regulation Commission shall immediately include in the Commission’s program the implementation of this Act, the funding of which shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.
SEC 34. Transitory Provision. – The present Board shall continue to function in the interim until such time as the new Board shall have been constituted pursuant to this Act.
SEC 35. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – The Board, subject to the approval of the Commission, shall promulgate, adopt and issue rules and regulations, and the Code of Ethics and the Code of Technical Standards for Librarians which shall take effect fifteen (15) days following publication in the Official Gazette or newspaper of general circulation.
SEC 36. Separability Clause. – If any clause, provision, paragraph or part hereof shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid, such judgment shall not affect, invalidate or impair any other part hereof, but such judgment shall be merely confined to the clause, provision, paragraph or part directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment has been rendered.
SEC 37. Repealing Clause. – Republic Act No. 6966 is hereby repealed and all other laws, decrees, orders, rules, regulations, ordinances or parts thereof which are inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or amended accordingly.
SEC 38. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or a national newspaper of general circulation.
(Sgd.) FRANKLIN M. DRILON
President of the Senate
(Sgd.) JOSE DE VENECIA JR.
Speaker of the House
This Act which is a consolidation of House Bill No. 5351 and Senate Bill No. 2579 was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on December 2, 2003 and December 16, 2003, respectively.
(Sgd.) OSCAR G. YABES
Secretary of the Senate
(Sgd.) ROBERTO P. NAZARENO
House of Representatives
Approved: FEB 9 2004
(Sgd.) GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
President of the Philippines