On June 27, 2022, the Government issued Executive Order No. 175, which promulgated the 12th Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL).
The 12th Negative List relaxed restrictions on the rules governing foreign professional practice in the Philippines. The 12th FINL allows foreigners to practice professions in pharmacy and forestry, provided their home countries allow Filipinos the same privilege. Professionals in radiology, x-ray technology, criminology, and law remain reserved for Filipino nationals only.
The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Supreme Court (SC) are the official organizations mandated by the Philippine Government to regulate and supervise various professionals’ practices. They are responsible for administering, implementing, and enforcing regulatory policies on handling and licensing multiple professions and occupations under Philippine jurisdiction.
Licensed professionals from foreign countries who wish to practice their professions in the Philippines, except in law, should obtain a special temporary permit from the PRC based on the provision of Republic Act 8981. The law practice is reserved only for Philippine citizens who have completed the requisite coursework at a duly accredited Philippine law school and passed the bar examinations. The two exceptions to the citizenship and education requirement are U.S. citizens licensed to practice before Philippine courts before July 4, 1946; and, Philippine citizens who are “enrolled attorneys in good standing in the Supreme Court of the United States or any circuit court of appeals or district court or the highest court of any State or Territory of the United States.”
Consequently, foreign lawyers cannot engage in law practice in the Philippines. They must be represented by a member of the Philippine Bar in all matters connected with such practice.
For more information regarding the guidelines and the general agreement on trade in services and other international agreements on foreign professionals’ practice in the Philippines, visit the PRC or Supreme Court website.
Professional Regulation Commission
International Affairs Office
International Development Division
Qualification Recognition Division
Supreme Court – Office of The Bar Confidant