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https://lawyerly.ph/laws/view/l8332
[Act No. 2708, (1917-03-11)](https://lawyerly.ph/laws/view/l8332)
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[ Act No. 2708, March 11, 1917 ]

AN ACT TO REGULATE THE PRACTICE OF THE OPTICAL PROFESSION, TO CREATE THE BOARD OF OPTICAL EXAMINERS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Legislature assembled and by the authority of the same:

SECTION 1. Board of Examiners; appointment of members and substitution thereof.—The Secretary of the Interior shall appoint a Board of Optical Examiners consisting of a duly qualified physician and two reputable opticians practising the optical profession in the Philippine Islands at the time of their appointment and graduates of any reputable university, academy, college, school or institution legally constituted and recognized as such by the Government or the state in which established. They shall hold office for three years after their appointment, and until their successors are duly appointed and qualified: Provided, however, That of the first appointments made by the Secretary of the Interior, one shall expire on the thirty-first of December, nineteen hundred and seventeen; another on the thirty-first of December, nineteen hundred and eighteen; and the third on the thirty-first of December, nineteen hundred and nineteen, as specified in their respective certificates of appointment. Each person appointed to the Board shall qualify by taking and subscribing to the following oath of office:

"I, . . . . . . . . . . , having been appointed a member of the Board of Optical Examiners for the Philippine Islands, do hereby solemnly swear and affirm that I graduated on  ...............from  ............   in the city of  .................; that I am practising my profession; that I will well and truly perform the duties of said office; that I will give an exact and full account of all moneys coming into my hands as such officer; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Government of the United States and to the Government of the Philippine Islands; and that I take this oath without any mental reservation whatsoever. So help me God." This oath shall be filed and recorded in the office of the Secretary of the Interior.

The Secretary of the Interior shall fill any vacancy that may occur in the Board of Examiners, designating an optician or qualified physician, according to the nature of the vacancy, within one month after the occurrence thereof, and the person so appointed to fill a vacancy shall hold office only for the unexpired term of the member whose place he is appointed to fill. The Secretary of the Interior may remove any member of said Board for neglect of duty, or incompetency, or for unprofessional or dishonorable conduct, or for any other just cause.

SEC. 2. Organization of the Board of Examiners; duties and compensation.—The Board of Examiners shall be under the Secretary of the Interior. It shall organize immediately after the appointment of its members by electing from its members a president and a secretary-treasurer thereof; it shall hold an annual election on each second Tuesday of January; and it shall keep a seal with which to attest its official acts. The secretary-treasurer shall receive as annual compensation an amount not to exceed three hundred pesos per annum, and the other members of the Board shall receive as compensation the sum of five pesos for each candidate examined for registration as an optician: Provided, however, That said compensations and all other expenses of the Board shall be paid out of the receipts thereof, and no expenditure incurred by the Board nor the compensation of its members shall under any circumstances be paid out of any funds in the Insular Treasury other than those deposited by the Board of Optical Examiners. The compensation of the secretary-treasurer shall be paid one-half on the thirtieth of June and the other half on the thirty-first of December of each year.

All receipts of the Board from whatever source shall be deposited in the Insular Treasury and all expenditures of the Board shall be paid by the Insular Treasurer, out of the funds derived from said receipts, upon presentation of the proper vouchers signed by the officers of the Board of Optical Examiners. The secretary-treasurer shall execute a bond for five hundred pesos, with good and sufficient sureties, which shall be approved by the Insular Treasurer, conditioned upon the payment of all moneys which he may receive as secretary-treasurer and upon the faithful performance of the duties of his office. He shall keep a record of the proceedings of the Board, and a register of all persons to whom certificates of registration have been granted, setting forth the name, age, place where established, post-office address, the name of the institution from which he graduated and in which he has studied, the date of such graduation or upon which he finished his studies, together with the time spent by him in the study of optics, and the names and locations of all other institutions which have granted to him degrees and the certificates concerning his practice.

SEC. 3. Meetings, examinations.—The Board of Optical Examiners shall meet in the city of Manila for the purpose of examining candidates desiring to practice the optical profession in the Philippine Islands on the first Tuesday of June and December of each year, upon at least thirty days notice published in the most widely read newspapers of the locality.

The first examinations to be held under this Act shall take place upon the organization of said Board.

SEC. 4. Certificates.—The Board of Examiners shall issue certificates of registration as opticians to any person twenty-one years of age and over, of good habits and morals, who has an optician's diploma issued by a duly constituted, accredited, and reputable university, academy, college, school or institution, recognized as such by the Government or the State in which established, and who passes a satisfactory examination before the Board: Provided, That any person who is practising the optical profession in the Philippine Islands at the time of the approval of this Act, may receive a certificate of registration as optician without examination if within the period of ninety days he exhibits to the Board a certificate as optician issued by a duly constituted, accredited, and reputable university, academy, college, school or institution, recognized as such by the Government or the state in which established, upon payment of the proper fees: Provided, further, That any person who, at the time of the approval of this Act, has been practising the optical profession for a period of not less than one year, with an establishment lawfully opened, but lacks the proper diploma, may, within one year from and after the approval of this Act, secure a certificate as optician upon passing a practical examination by means of the trial case.

SEC. 5. Rides and reports of the Board of Examiners: requirements as to optical colleges or schools.—The Board of Optical Examiners shall, on the thirty-first of December of each year, make a detailed report to the Secretary of the Interior of all its work during the year, and of all moneys received and disbursed by it.

With the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, the Board may approve such rules and regulations not in conflict with the provisions of this Act as may be necessary to carry said provisions into effect. The Board, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, shall prescribe rules and regulations for the purpose of establishing a uniform plan of teaching to be observed by optical schools or colleges or universities, and said Board shall determine the standing of such schools, colleges or universities according to the degree to which the same comply with the prescribed rules and regulations.

SEC. 6. Fees.—The Board of Examiners shall charge for each application for examination the sum of twenty pesos and for each certificate of registration thirty pesos. No certificate shall be issued except upon payment of the fees herein prescribed.

SEC. 7. Reasons for not granting and for revoking certificates of registration.—The Board of Optical Examiners t shall not issue the certificates provided for by this Act to any person convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude, to any person guilty of immoral, dishonorable conduct, or mentally incapacitated, and in such cases shall give to the applicant a written statement setting forth the reason for its action, which statement shall be incorporated in the record of the Board. The Board may also revoke a certificate for like cause, or for unprofessional conduct, malpractice, incompetency or serious ignorance, or malicious negligence in the practice of the optical profession; or for making use of fraud, deceit, or false statements to obtain a certificate of registration; or habitual use of intoxicating liquors or medicines causing him to become incompetent to practice the optical profession; or the employment of persons who are not duly authorized to do the work that under this Act can be done only by persons who have certificates of registration to practice the optical profession in the Philippine Islands; or the employment of deceit or any other fraud with the public in general or some client in particular, for the end or purpose of extending his clientele; or making false advertisements, publishing or circulating exaggerated, fraudulent or deceitful allegations regarding his professional attainments, skill, or knowledge. The revocation of a certificate of registration shall be made by the Board, after having duly notified and heard the party concerned, and such revocation shall be subject to appeal before the Secretary of the Interior, whose decision shall be final in all cases.

SEC. 8. Display of name and certificate of registration.— Every practitioner of the optical profession shall display in a conspicuous place upon the house or office where he practices his name and surname and he shall further display his certificate of registration in his office in plain sight of the persons requesting his services.

SEC. 9. Prohibitions.—It shall be unlawful for any person to advertise or practice as optician without having the certificate prescribed in this Act; and no qualified optician not at the same time a practising physician shall undertake to treat diseases of the organs of sight or prescribe for the same.

SEC. 10. Penalties.—Any person violating any section, clause, paragraph, or any provision of this Act shall be criminally prosecuted before a court of competent jurisdiction and, upon conviction, shall be punished for each violation with a fine of not less than twenty nor more than one thousand pesos, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

SEC. 11. Who are opticians.—For the purposes of this Act, an optician shall be any person who undertakes to examine the organs of vision, graduate the sight or correct errors of refraction, and who furnishes, sells or offers for sale spectacles, eyeglasses or other optical articles.

SEC. 12. Repeal of other Acts.—All Acts in any way inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed.

SEC. 13. Effective date.—This Act shall take effect on its approval.

Effective, March 11, 1917.

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