Philippines - Commercial Guide
Licensing Requirements for Professional Services

Includes license requirements for key professional services that are open to U.S. service providers.

Last published date: 2020-07-22

On October 29, 201, the Government issued Executive Order No. 65, Series of 2018 which promulgated the 11th Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL).

The 11th Negative List relaxed restrictions on the rules governing foreign professional practice in the Philippines. The 11th FINL now allows foreigners' practice to professions in pharmacy and forestry provided that their home countries allow Filipinos for the same privilege. Professions in radiologic, 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 the administration, implementation, and enforcement of regulatory policies on regulating and licensing various 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 for Philippine citizens only 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. Philippine citizens who were also "enrolled attorneys in good standing in the Supreme Court of the United States or any circuit court of appeals or district court therein, or the highest court of any State or Territory of the United States.

Consequently, foreign lawyers cannot engage in the practice of law 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 website www.prc.gov.ph  or the Supreme Court website. http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/ 

Contacts:
Professional Regulation Commission
Mr. Jesper P. Paquito
Officer-in-Charge Director, International Affairs Office
Tel: +63-2-8244-7674 
Email: iad@prc.gov.ph; idd@prc.gov.ph; qrd@prc.gov.ph; icnd@prc.gov.ph

Supreme Court – Office of The Bar Confidant
Atty. Rosita Lopez-Nacional, Deputy Clerk and Bar Confidant
Tel: +63-2-526 8122 
Email: baroffice@sc.judiciary.gov.ph; efile_bar@sc.judiciary.gov.ph; 
hiefjusticehelpdesk@sc.judiciary.gov.ph