Councilor Roy Gregorio Ventura is proposing an ordinance regulating the employment of massage attendants and therapists in Puerto Princesa City.
Ventura said Thursday his proposal is aimed at safeguarding the welfare of the residents of the city and its domestic and foreign guests.
“Kasi ‘yan maraming lumapit sa aking mga licensed massage attendants. Hiniling nila sa akin na tulungan sila na kung puwede ay ma-protektahan din silang mga licensed, na mga legal. Marami kasi tayong mga illegal dito na nagtatrabaho, experience lang walang mga papeles, walang mga accreditation. Lalung-lalo na ‘yan tungkol sa health, mahirap na kapag may nabiktima na bisita [o] mga mamamayan. Mamaya nagpa-practice sila, nagmamasahe sila [and] hindi nila alam ‘yong tama na procedure, [baka] mamaya madisgrasya ‘yong mga minamasahe nila tapos kung may problema hindi sila mahabol kung saan sila,” he said.
He added that there are around 500 licensed massage therapists and attendants currently working in the city’s 50 to 100 registered massage clinics.
Ventura cited a report of the City Tourism Office (CTO) that there has been “a proliferation of untrained, unlicensed, and unassessed massage therapists and attendants in Puerto Princesa.”
“There is a need to prevent the proliferation of the illegal and immoral activities undertaken by these untrained, unlicensed, and unassessed massage therapists/attendants,” Ventura said.
The measure proposes a penalty of P1,000 for the first offense and P2,000 for the second.
For the third and subsequent offenses, cancellation of occupational permit and license will be imposed including a P5,000 monetary penalty and a three to six month of imprisonment depending upon the discretion of the court.
Ventura also indicated that in the case where an alien violator was caught, his/her employer shall be liable for the violation.
“Anyone found guilty for the third time or more may be subjected to deportation in accordance with the existing laws after payment of the fine,” Ventura said.
There shall be no massage attendant allowed to conduct or perform the service within the jurisdiction of Puerto Princesa City without first complying the requirements for registration and licensing, it said.
It says that massage therapists must be employed in a duly-registered parlor or spa with certification as proof; must a bona fide member of and endorsed by the association of massage attendants/therapists; secured his/her barangay clearance and health card from the City Health Department (CHD), and has a National Certificate II (NCII) in massage therapy issued by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).