Press Release
September 10, 2012

Senate approves bill to amend Interior Design Act

The Senate passed on third and final reading a bill which aims to regulate and modernize the practice of interior design in the Philippines.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, sponsor of Senate Bill No. 3139 otherwise known as the Philippine Interior Design Act of 1998, said the proposed legislation seeks to keep the practice of interior design at "par with international standards and enhance the competitive edge of Filipino interior designers."

The measure was approved with 20 affirmative votes, zero negative votes and zero abstention.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile expressed his support for the measure saying that "amending the Interior Design Act of 1998 will empower Filipino interior designers and enable them to become globally competitive and internationally recognized."

Under the proposed measure, existing regulations on the registration, licensing and the practice of interior design will be updated by institutionalizing mandatory continuing professional education of interior design professionals.

Moreover, the regulation on the issuance of special permits of foreign interior design professionals will be maximized so the arrangement will also benefit the Filipino counterpart.

"The interior design industry will receive the boost it needs to make it more competitive globally and at par with international standards. Only legitimate professionals will be allowed to practice the profession in the country," Trillanes explained.

"Many Filipino interior designers have attained international recognition and have been admitted in different international organizations for interior design. Some countries like Malaysia have even patterned their licensing and regulatory laws concerning interior design from our laws," he added.

Once passed into law, Trillanes said, the bill will amend Republic Act No. 8534 by lessening the minimum number of nominees for the Board of Interior Design from five to three for each position and removing the age qualification of 35 years old. The passing rate for the licensure exam will also be lowered from 75% to 70% weighted general average.

He said violators of the proposed measure face a fine from P300,000 to P1,000,000 and/or imprisonment of six months to three years. (APPLE BUENAVENTURA, PRIB)

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