Good news, pet lovers!
To better protect house pets and other animals from veterinary malpractices, Rep. Paolo “Manong Pulong” Duterte has filed a proposed measure that aims to institutionalize the penalties of imprisonment, fine, cancellation of license to practice, and revocation of a permit to operate to veterinarians found committing veterinary malpractice to increase deterrence in committing the said act.
House Bill No. 7896, or the Anti-Veterinary Malpractice Act of 2023, also seeks to require veterinarians to avail of malpractice insurance to answer for any claims of damages arising from the act or omission perpetrated by them resulting to injury or loss of life to any animal.
“The state recognizes the role of veterinary medicine in the country as a practice dedicated to the protection of the animal population through safe and proper diagnosis, treatment, and surgery of these animals. The regulation in the practice of veterinary medicine is enshrined in Republic Act No. 9268 or The Philippine Veterinary Medicine Act of 2004, which in addition, institutionalizes the mandate of the Professional Regulatory Board of Veterinary Medicine,” Duterte explained.
But the Board, Duterte added, has always relied on the Code of Ethics and Code of Technical Standards for Doctors of Veterinary Medicines, including its other policies issued pursuant to RA 9268 in order to regulate the said profession, and yet the practice remains unregulated and unbridled, resulting to a number of malpractice cases against veterinarians which remain unpenalized due to lack of enabling legislation that will hold a veterinarian criminally liable for gross negligence and ignorance in the exercise of their profession.
Duterte stressed that it is the policy of the State to protect and promote the welfare of all animals by supervising and regulating the establishment and operations of all facilities utilized for breeding, maintaining, keeping, treating, or training all animals either as objects of trade or as household pets.
“As part of fulfilling this, the State shall be able to standardize and regulate the practice of veterinary medicine that is tasked to protect the animal population in the country through safe and proper diagnosis, treatment, and surgery of animals,” Duterte also said.
The proposed measure states that any veterinarian who performs any act constituting to veterinary medicine malpractice or illegal surgery shall be punishable by imprisonment or fine or both and, in all instances, the cancellation of the practitioner’s license to practice veterinary medicine, revocation of the Certification of Registration, or cancellation of the special permit issued on behalf of his/her practice.
Duterte said that under the Act, medical malpractice in veterinary medicine is punishable by prison correctional and a fine ranging from P100,000 to P500,000, apart from the cancellation and revocation of permits and licenses.
The measure also states that all veterinarians shall be required to obtain Veterinary Malpractice Insurance of no less than P50,000 to answer for any claims or damages arising from the act or omission perpetrated by the insured resulting in injury or loss of life to any animal.
It added that failure to comply with any veterinarian from the provisions of the Act shall cause the suspension of his/her professional license and shall remain effective until compliance of the said provision.
Office of Rep. Paolo Z. Duterte
Davao City 1st Congressional District
April 26, 2023