Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy

Board Law

Republic Act No. 5680
An Act Creating the Board of Examiners for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists.

Short title of Act. - This Act shall be known as the Philippine Physical and Occupational Therapy Law.

Definition of Terms. - As used in this Act, the following terms shall mean:

  1. Physical therapy is the art and science of treatment by means of therapeutic exercises, heat, cold, light, water, manual manipulation, electricity, and other physical agents.
  2. Physical therapy technician is a person, who not having acquired a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy is qualified through in-service training and practical experience to assist in the application of physiotherapeutic procedures and to undertake specific assignments as directed by a qualified physical therapist in carrying out the prescription of a licensed physician. Such assignments shall be confined within the limits of a hospital or institution of employment.
  3. Rehabilitation medicine, at the patient level, is the “clinical management of the problems associated with disability, with the objective of improving to the maximum level the physical, socio-economic and physiological functioning of a disabled individual Medical rehabilitation is an integral part of total medical care. Total rehabilitation is best achieved through the coordinated work of various health disciplines like medicine, psychology, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and hearing, nursing, vocational evaluation, dietetics, and special education.”
  4. Physical therapist is a person legally qualified and licensed to practice physical therapy under this Act.
  5. Physiatrist is a legally qualified and licensed physician specializing in the practice of rehabilitation medicine.
  6. Occupational therapy is a paramedical discipline concerned with the administration of medically prescribed treatment, in the form of supervised activity, to persons disabled by disease or injury. The objective of occupational therapy is to contribute to the development of the disabled person’s independence, to improve his emotional, social, and physical well-being and his ability to care for himself both at home and on the job, and to begin early evaluations and experimentation for future job training and employment. Occupational therapy may be prescribed by a general medical practitioner or a specialist in any of the recognized branches of medicine and is administered under the direction of a registered occupational therapist.
  7. Occupational therapist is a legally qualified person licensed to practice occupational therapy under this Act and who by accepted academic training and professional clinical experience possesses the knowledge and skills to achieve the objectives as defined and set by the occupational therapy profession. The occupational therapist functions through the use of the basic methods, approaches and procedures of occupational therapy (creative, manipulative, educational, pre-vocational evaluation and self-care activities) which are designed to assess and develop the actual and potential abilities of the individual. The occupational therapist plans, organizes, evaluates, and participates in a medically oriented treatment program to assist the disabled person towards physical independence, productivity, and constructive personal or social relationship. The occupational therapist functions in general and special hospitals, rehabilitation and welfare centers, pediatric clinics, psychiatric clinics, specialized schools, geriatric institutions, home care programs, and work-adjustments units.
  8. Occupational therapy technician or assistant is a person who, not having acquired a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy, is qualified, as determined by a bona fide national professional association of occupational therapists in the Philippines through in-service training under practical experience, to function as an assistant to and under the direct supervision of an occupational therapist to assist in rehabilitating patients in hospitals and similar institutions.
  9. Disability is a loss or reduction of a person’s capacity to effectively cope with the demands of his environment as a result of disease or injury, including birth trauma.


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