General & Misc

Bill of the Mental Health Act of 2017

Citation: SB No. 1354; Date of Publication: 27 February 2017; Type: Federal Bill; Date of Legislation: 27 February 2017; Source: Senate of The Philippines

An Act establishing a National Mental Health Policy for the purpose of enhancing the Delivery of Integrated Mental Health Services, promoting and protecting Persons utilizing Psychiatric, Neurologic and Psychosocial Health Services, appropriating Funds therefor and for other purposes.


First Regular Session


Senate Bill No. 1354
(In Substitution of Senate Bill Nos. 9, 415, 522, 657, 1155, and 1190)

Prepared and submitted jointly by the Committees on Health and Demography, Local Government, and Finance with Senators Sotto III, Legarda, Trillanes IV, Aquino IV, Angara, Hontiveros and Villanueva as authors thereof


Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

Policy, Objectives, and Definitions

Section 1. Short Title. - This Act shall be known as the “Mental Health Act of 2017.”

Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy. - The State hereby affirms the basic right of all Filipinos to mental health as well as the fundamental rights of people who require mental health services.

The State commits itself to promoting the well-being of its people by ensuring that: mental health is valued, promoted and protected; mental health conditions are treated and prevented; timely, affordable, high-quality, and culturally-appropriate mental health care is made available to the public; and persons affected by mental health conditions are able to exercise the full range of human rights, and participate fully in society and at work, free from stigmatization and discrimination.

The State shall comply strictly with its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and all other relevant international and regional human rights conventions and declarations. The applicability of Republic Act (R. A.) No. 7277, as amended, otherwise known as the “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons”, to persons with mental health conditions, as defined herein, is expressly recognized.

Sec. 3. Objectives. - The objectives of this Act are, as follows:

(a) Strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health by, among others, formulating, developing, and implementing national policies, strategies, programs, and regulations relating to mental health;

(b) Develop and establish a comprehensive, integrated, effective, and efficient national mental health care system responsive to the psychiatric, neurologic, and psychosocial needs of the Filipino people;

(c) Protect the rights and freedoms of persons with psychiatric, neurologic, and psychosocial health needs;

(d) Strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health; and

(e) Integrate strategies promoting mental health in educational institutions, the workplace, and in communities.

Sec. 4. Definitions. - For the purposes of this Act, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) “Confidentiality” means ensuring that all relevant information related to persons with psychiatric, neurologic, and psychosocial health needs is kept safe from access or use by, or disclosure to, persons or entities who are not authorized to access, use, or possess such information;

(b) “Deinstitutionalization” refers to the process of transitioning service users, including persons with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities, from institutional and other segregated settings, to community-based settings that enable social participation, recovery-based approaches to mental health, and individualized care in accordance with the service user’s will and preference;

(c) “Discrimination” means any distinction, exclusion or restriction which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms;

(d) “Free Prior Informed Consent” or “Informed Consent” refers to consent voluntarily given by a service user to a plan for treatment, after a full disclosure communicated in plain language by the attending mental health service provider, of the nature, consequences, benefits, and risks of the proposed treatment, as well as available alternatives;

(e) “Legal Capacity” refers to both legal capacity as well as the capacity to make decisions and act;

(f) “Legal Representative” refers to a person: designated by the service user, appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction; or authorized by this Act or any other applicable law, to act on the service user’s behalf;

(g) “Mental Health” refers to a state of psychosocial well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, copes adequately with the normal stresses of life, displays resilience in the face of extreme life events, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a positive contribution to the community;

(h) “Mental Health Condition” refers to a neurologic or psychiatric condition characterized by the existence of a recognizable, clinically-significant disturbance in an individual's cognition, emotional regulation, or behaviour that reflects a genetic or acquired dysfunction in the neurobiological, psychosocial, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning. The determination of whether a mental health condition exists shall be based on the best available scientific and medical evidence;

(i) “Mental Health Facility” refers to any establishment, or any unit of an establishment, which has, as its primary function the provision of mental health services;

(j) “Mental Health Professional” refers to a medical doctor, clinical psychologist, nurse, social worker or any other appropriately-trained and qualified person with specific skills relevant to the provision of mental health services;

(k) “Mental Health Service Provider” shall refer to an entity or individual providing mental health services as defined in this Act, whether public or private, including, but not limited to, mental health professionals and workers, social workers and counselors, peer counselors, informal community caregivers, mental health advocates and their organizations, personal ombudsmen, and persons or entities offering non-medical alternative therapies;

(l) “Mental Health Services” refer to psychosocial, psychiatric or neurologic activities and programs along the whole range of the mental health support spectrum including enhancement, prevention, treatment, and aftercare;

(m) “Mental Health Worker” refers to a trained person, volunteer or advocate engaged in mental health promotion, providing services under the supervision of a mental health professional;

(n) “Impairment or Temporary Loss of Legal Capacity” refers to a medicallydetermined, temporary inability on the part of a service user or any other person affected by a mental health condition, to:

(i) Understand information concerning the nature of a mental health condition;

(ii) Understand the consequences of one’s decisions and actions on one’s life or health, or the life or health of others;

(iii) Understand information about the nature of the treatment proposed, including methodology, direct effects, and possible side-effects; and

(iv) Effectively communicate consent to treatment or hospitalization, or information regarding one’s own condition.

(o) “Psychiatric Emergency” refer to a condition presenting a serious and immediate threat to the health and well-being of a service user or any other person affected by a mental disorder, or to the health and well-being of others, such as, but not limited to, threatened or attempted suicide, acute intoxication, severe depression, acute psychosis, or violent behavior, requiring immediate medical or psychiatric intervention;

(p) “Psychosocial Problem” refers to a condition that indicates the existence of dysfunctions in a person’s behavior, thoughts and feelings brought about by sudden, extreme, prolonged or cumulative stressors in the physical or social environment;

(q) “Recovery-Based Approach” means an approach to intervention and treatment centered on the strengths of a service user and involving the active participation, as equal partners in care, of persons with lived experiences in mental health. This requires integrating a service user’s understanding of his or her condition into any plan for treatment and recovery;

(r) “Services User” means a person with lived experience of any mental health condition including persons who require, or are undergoing, psychiatric, neurologic or psychosocial care;

(s) “Support” refers to the spectrum of informal and formal arrangements or services of vaiying types and intensities, provided by the State, private entities, or communities, aimed at assisting a service user in the exercise of his or her legal capacity or rights, including: community services; personal assistants and ombudsmen; powers of attorney and other legal and personal planning tools; peer support; support for self-advocacy; non-formal community caregiver networks; dialogue systems; alternate communication methods, such as non-verbal, sign, augmentative, and manual communication; and the use of assistive devices and technology; and

(t) “Supported Decision Making” is the act of assisting a service user who is not affected by an impairment or temporary loss of legal capacity, in expressing a mental health-related preference, intention or decision. It includes all the necessary support, safeguards and measures to ensure protection from undue influence, coercion or abuse.

Rights of Service Users & Other Stakeholders

Sec. 5. Rights of Service Users. - Service users shall enjoy, on an equal and non-discriminatory basis, all rights guaranteed by the Constitution as well as those recognized under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and all other relevant international and regional human rights conventions and declarations, including the right to:

(a) Freedom from social, economic, and political discrimination and stigmatization, whether committed by public or private actors;

(b) Exercise all their inherent civil, political, economic, social, religious, educational, and cultural rights respecting individual qualities, abilities, and diversity of background, without discrimination on the basis of physical disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, race, color, language, religion or national, ethnic, or social origin;

(c) Receive evidence-based treatment of the same standard and quality, regardless of age, sex, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation;

(d) Access affordable essential health and social services for the purpose of achieving the highest attainable standard of mental health;

(e) Receive mental health services at all levels of the national health care system;

(f) Receive comprehensive and coordinated treatment integrating holistic prevention, promotion, rehabilitation, care and support, aimed at addressing mental health care needs through a multi-disciplinary, user-driven treatment and recovery plan;

(g) Receive psychosocial care and clinical treatment in the least restrictive environment and manner;

(h) Receive humane treatment free from solitary confinement, torture, and other forms of cruel, inhumane, harmful or degrading treatment;

(i) Receive aftercare and rehabilitation within the community whenever possible, for the purpose of facilitating social reintegration;

(j) Receive adequate information regarding available multi-disciplinary mental health services;

(k) Participate in mental health advocacy, policy planning, legislation, service provision, monitoring, research and evaluation;

(l) Confidentiality of all information, communications, and records, in whatever form or medium stored, regarding the service user, any aspect of the service user’s mental health, or any treatment or care received by the service user, which information, communications, and records shall not be disclosed to third parties without the written consent of the sendee user concerned or the service user’s legal representative, except in the following circumstances:

(i) Disclosure is required by law or pursuant to an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction;

(ii) A life-threatening emergency exists and such disclosure is necessary to prevent harm or injury to the service user or to other persons;

(iii) The service user is a minor and the attending mental health professional reasonably believes that the service user is a victim of child abuse;

(iv) Disclosure is required in connection with an administrative, civil, or criminal case against a mental health professional or worker for negligence or a breach of professional ethics, to the extent necessary to completely adjudicate, settle, or resolve any issue or controversy involved therein; or

(v) Disclosure is in the interest of public safety or national security.

(m) Give prior informed consent before receiving treatment or care, including the right to withdraw such consent. Such consent shall be recorded in the service user’s clinical record;

(n) Participate in the development and formulation of the psychosocial care or clinical treatment plan to be implemented;

(o) Designate or appoint a person of legal age to act as his or her legal representative in accordance with this Act, except in cases of impairment or temporary loss legal capacity;

(p) Send or receive uncensored private communication which may include communication by letter, telephone or electronic mean, and receive visitors at reasonable times, including the service user’s legal representative and representatives from the Commission on Human Rights;

(q) Legal representation, through competent counsel of the service user’s choice. In case the service user cannot afford the services of counsel, the Public Attorney’s Office, or a legal aid institution of the service user or representative’s choice, shall assist the service user;

(r) Access to their clinical records unless, in the opinion of the attending mental health professional, revealing such information would cause harm to the service user’s health or put the safety of others at risk. When any such clinical records are withheld, the service user or his or her legal representative may contest such decision with the internal review board created pursuant to this Act authorized to investigate and resolve disputes, or with the Commission on Human Rights; and

(s) Information, within twenty-four (24) of admission to a mental health facility, of the rights enumerated in this section in a form and language understood by the service user.

Sec. 6. Rights of Family Members & Legal Representatives. - Family members and duly-designated or appointed legal representative of the service user shall have the right to:

(a) Receive appropriate psychosocial support from the relevant government agencies;

(b) With the consent of the concerned service user, participate in the formulation, development, and implementation of the service user’s individualized treatment plan;

(c) Apply for release and transfer of the service user to an appropriate mental health facility; and

(d) Participate in mental health advocacy, policy planning, legislation, service provision, monitoring, research and evaluation.

Sec. 7. Rights of Mental Health Professionals. - Mental health professionals shall have the right to:

(a) A safe and supportive work environment;

(b) Continuous education and training;

(c) Participate in the planning, development, and management of mental health services;

(d) Contribute to the development and regular review of standards for evaluating mental health services provided to service users;

(e) Participate in the development of mental health policy and service delivery guidelines;

(f) Except in emergency situations, manage and control all aspects of his or her practice, including whether or not to accept or decline a service user for treatment; and

(g) Advocate for the rights of a service user, in cases where the service user’s wishes are at odds with those of his family or legal representative.

Treatment & Consent

Sec. 8. Prior Informed Consent to Treatment. - Service users must provide informed consent in writing prior to the implementation by mental health professionals, workers, and other service providers of any plan or program of therapy or treatment, including physical or chemical restraint. All persons, including service users, persons with disabilities, and minors, shall be presumed to possess legal capacity for the purposes of this Act or any other applicable law, irrespective of the nature or effects of their mental health condition or disability. Children shall have the right to express their views on all matters affecting themselves and have such views given due consideration in accordance with their age and maturity.

Sec. 9. Advance Directive. - A service user may set out his or her preference in relation to treatment through a signed, dated, and notarized advance directive executed for the purpose. An advance directive may be revoked by a new advance directive or by a notarized revocation.

Sec. 10. Legal Representative. - A service user may designate a person of legal age to act as his or her legal representative through a notarized document executed for that purpose.

(a) Functions. A service user’s legal representative shall: provide the service user with support and help represent his or her interests; receive medical information about the service user in accordance with this Act; assist the service user vis-a-vis the exercise of any right provided under this Act; and be consulted with respect to any treatment or therapy received by the service user. The appointment of a legal representative may be revoked by the appointment of a new legal representative or by a notarized revocation.

(b) Declining an Appointment. A person thus appointed may decline to act as a service user’s legal representative at any time. However, a person who declines to continue being a service user’s legal representative must take reasonable steps to inform the service user, as well as the service user’s attending mental health professional or worker, of this fact.

(c) Failure to Appoint. If the service user fails to appoint a legal representative, the following persons shall act as the service user’s legal representative, in the order provided below:

(1) The spouse, if any, unless permanently separated from the service user by a decree issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, or unless such spouse has abandoned or been abandoned by the service user for any period which has not yet come to an end;

(2) Non-Minor Children;

(3) Either parent by mutual consent, if the service user is a minor;

(4) A person appointed by the court; or

(5) Chief, administrator, or medical director of a mental health care facility.

Sec. 11. Supported Decision Making. - A service user may designate up to three (3) persons or “supporters”, including the service user’s legal representative, for the purposes of supported decision making. These supporters shall have the authority to: access the service user’s medical information; consult with the service user vis-a-vis any proposed treatment or therapy; be present during a service user’s appointments and consultations with mental health professionals, workers, and other service providers during the course of treatment or therapy.

Sec. 12. Internal Review Board. - The DOH shall establish a sufficient number of internal review boards to expeditiously review all cases, disputes, and controversies involving the treatment, restraint or confinement of service users within the Philippines, with at least one (l) such internal review board for each mental health facility.

(a) Composition. Each internal review board shall be composed of:

(1) Two (2) representatives from the DOH;

(2) Two (2) medical doctors, at least one of whom should have training in the neurosciences including, but not limited to, psychiatry, neurology, and substance abuse therapy;

(3) One (1) clinical psychologist;

(4) One (1) representative from the CHR; and

(5) One (1) person nominated by an organization or association representing service users and their families.

(b) Each internal review board shall have the following powers and functions:

(1) Conduct regular review, monitoring, and audit of all cases involving the treatment, confinement or restraint of service users within its territorial jurisdiction;

(2) Inspect mental health facilities to ensure that service users therein are not being subjected to cruel, inhumane, or degrading conditions or treatment;

(3) Motu proprio, or upon the receipt of a written complaint or petition filed by a service user or a service user’s immediate family or legal representative, investigate cases, disputes, and controversies involving the involuntary treatment, confinement or restraint of a service user; and

(4) Take all necessary action to rectify or remedy violations of a service user’s rights vis-a-vis treatment, confinement or restraint, including recommending that an administrative, civil, or criminal case be filed by the appropriate government agency.

(c) The DOH shall promulgate the rules and regulations necessary for the efficient disposition of all proceedings, matters, and cases referred to, or reviewed by, the internal review board.

Sec. 13. Exceptions to Informed Consent. - During psychiatric or neurologic emergencies, or when there is impairment or temporary loss of capacity on the part of a service user, treatment, restraint or confinement, whether physical or chemical, may be administered or implemented pursuant to the following safeguards and conditions:

(a) In compliance with the service user’s advance directives, if available, unless doing so would pose an immediate risk of serious harm to the patient or another person;

(b) Only to the extent that such treatment or restraint is necessary, and only while a psychiatric or neurologic emergency, or impairment or temporary loss of capacity, exists or persists;

(c) Upon the order of the service user’s attending mental health professional, which order must be reviewed by the internal review board of the mental health facility where the patient is being treated within fifteen (15) days from the date such order was issued, and every fifteen (15) days thereafter while the treatment or restraint continues; and

(d) That such involuntary treatment or restraint shall be in strict accordance with guidelines approved by the appropriate authorities, which must contain clear criteria regulating the application and termination of such medical intervention, and fully documented and subject to regular external independent monitoring, review, and audit by the internal review boards established by this Act.

Mental Health Services

Sec. 14. Mental Health Services at the Community Level. - Within the general health care system, the following mental health services shall be developed and integrated into the primary health care system at the community level:

(a) Basic mental health services, which shall be made available at all local government units down to the barangay level;

(b) Community resilience and psychosocial well-being training in all barangays, including the availability of mental health and psychosocial support services during and after natural disasters and other calamities;

(c) Training and capacity-building programs for local mental health workers in coordination with mental health facilities and departments of psychiatry in general or university hospitals;

(d) Support services for families and co-workers of service users, mental health professionals, and mental health workers; and

(e) Dissemination of mental health information and promotion of mental health awareness among the general population.

Sec. 15. Psychiatric, Psychosocial, and Neurologic Services in Regional, Provincial, and Tertiary Hospitals. - All regional, provincial, and tertiary hospitals shall provide the following psychiatric, psychosocial, and neurologic services:

(a) Short-term, in-patient hospital care in a small psychiatric ward for service users exhibiting acute psychiatric symptoms;

(b) Partial hospital care for those exhibiting psychiatric symptoms or experiencing difficulties vis-a-vis their personal and family circumstances;

(c) Out-patient services in close collaboration with existing mental health programs at primary health care centers in the same area;

(d) Home care services for service users with special needs as a result of, among others, long-term hospitalization, non-compliance with or inadequacy of treatment, and absence of immediate family;

(e) Coordination with drug rehabilitation centers vis-a-vis the care, treatment, and rehabilitation of persons suffering from addiction and other substance-induced mental disorders; and

(f) A referral system involving other public and private health and social welfare service providers, for the purpose of expanding access to programs aimed at preventing mental illness and managing the condition of persons at risk of developing mental, neurologic, and psychosocial problems.

Sec. 16. Duties & Responsibilities of Mental Health Facilities. – Mental health facilities shall:

(a) Establish policies, guidelines, and protocols for minimizing the use of restrictive care and involuntary treatment;

(b) Inform service users of their rights under this Act and all other pertinent laws and regulations;

(c) Provide every service user, whether admitted for voluntary or involuntary treatment, with complete information regarding the plan of treatment to be implemented;

(d) Ensure that informed consent is obtained from service users prior to the implementation of any medical procedure or plan of treatment or care, except during psychiatric or neurologic emergencies or when impairment or temporary loss of capacity exists, as defined herein;

(e) Maintain a register containing information on all medical treatments and procedures involuntarily administered to service users;

(f) Ensure that legal representatives are designated or appointed only after the requirements of this Act and the procedures established for the purpose have been observed, which procedures should respect the autonomy and preferences of the patient as far as possible; and

(g) Establish an internal review body to monitor and ensure compliance with the provisions of this Act, as well as receive, investigate, resolve, and act upon complaints brought by service users or their families and legal representatives against the mental health facility or any mental health professional or worker.

Education, Promotion of Mental Health in Educational Institutions and in the Workplace

Sec. 17. Integration of Mental Health into the Educational System. - The State shall ensure the integration of the mental health into the educational system, as follows:

(a) Age-appropriate content pertaining to mental health shall be integrated into the curriculum at all educational levels; and

(b) Psychiatry and neurology shall be required subjects in all medical and allied health courses, including post-graduate courses in health

Sec. 18. Mental Health Programs in Educational Institutions. - Educational institutions such schools, colleges, universities, and technical schools shall develop programs for students, educators, and other employees designed to: raise awareness on mental health issues; identify and provide support for individuals at risk, and facilitate access of individuals with mental health conditions to treatment and psychosocial support.

Sec. 19. Mental Health Programs and Policies in the Workplace. - Employers shall develop appropriate policies and programs on mental health in the workplace designed to: raise awareness on mental health issues; correct the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health conditions; identify and provide support for individuals at risk; and facilitate access of individuals with mental health conditions to treatment and psychosocial support.

Capacity Building, Research and Development

Sec. 20. Capacity-Building, Reorientation, and Training. - In close coordination with mental health facilities, and the departments of psychiatry in general and university hospitals, mental health professionals, workers, and other service providers shall undergo capacity-building, reorientation, and training to develop their ability to deliver evidence-based, culturally-appropriate and human rights-oriented mental health services, with an emphasis on the community and public health aspects of mental health.

Sec. 21. Research & Development. - Research and development shall be undertaken, in collaboration with academic institutions, psychiatric, neurologic, and related associations, and non-government organizations, to produce the information, evidence, and research necessary toformulate and develop a culturally-relevant national mental health program incorporating indigenous concepts and practices related to mental health.

(a) High ethical standards in mental health research shall be promoted to ensure that: research is conducted only with the free and informed consent of the persons involved; researchers do not receive any privileges, compensation or remuneration in exchange for encouraging or recruiting participants; potentially harmful or dangerous research is not undertaken; and all research is approved by an independent ethics committee, in accordance with applicable law.

(b) Research and development shall also be undertaken vis-a-vis non-medical alternatives such as physical fitness programs, sports, emotional support animals, journal writing, occupational therapy, art and music therapy, gardening, traveling, meditation, talk therapy, peer support groups, and other traditional or alternative practices.

Duties & Responsibilities of Government Agencies

Sec. 22. Duties and Responsibilities of the Department of Health (DOH). - To achieve the policy and objectives of this Act, the DOH shall:

(a) Formulate, develop, and implement a national mental health program;

(b) Ensure that a safe, therapeutic, and hygienic environment with sufficient privacy exists in all mental health facilities and, for this purpose, shall be responsible for the regulation, licensing, monitoring, and assessment of all mental health facilities;

(c) Integrate mental health into the routine health information system and identify, collate, routinely report and use core mental health data disaggregated by sex and age, and health outcomes, including data on completed and attempted suicides, in order to improve mental health service delivery, promotion and prevention strategies;

(d) Improve research capacity and academic collaboration on national priorities for research in mental health, particularly operational research with direct relevance to service development, implementation, and the exercise of human rights by persons with mental disorders, including the establishment of centers of excellence;

(e) Ensure that all public and private mental health institutions uphold the right of patients to be protected against torture or cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment;

(f) Coordinate with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to ensure that insurance packages equivalent to those covering physical disorders of comparable impact to the patient, as measured by Disability-Adjusted Life Year or other methodologies, are available to patients affected by mental disorders;

(g) Prohibit forced or inadequately remunerated labor within mental health facilities, unless such labor is justified as part of an accepted therapeutic treatment program;

(h) Provide support services for families and co-workers of service users, mental health professionals, workers, and other service providers; and

(i) Develop alternatives to institutionalization, particularly community, recovery-based approaches to treatment aimed at receiving patients discharged from hospitals, meeting the needs expressed by persons with mental health disorders, and respecting their autonomy, decisions, dignity, and privacy.

Sec. 23. Duties and Responsibilities of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). - The CHR shall:

(a) Establish mechanisms to investigate, address, and act upon impropriety and abuse in the treatment and care received by service users, particularly when such treatment or care is administered or implemented involuntarily;

(b) Inspect mental health facilities to ensure that service users therein are not being subjected to cruel, inhumane, or degrading conditions or treatment;

(c) Investigate all cases involving involuntary treatment, confinement, or care of service users, for the purpose of ensuring strict compliance with domestic and international standards respecting the legality, quality, and appropriateness of such treatment, confinement, or care; and

(d) Appoint a focal commissioner for mental health tasked with protecting and promoting the rights of service users and other persons utilizing mental health services or confined in mental health facilities, as well as the rights of mental health professionals and workers. The focal commissioner shall, upon a finding that a mental health facility, mental health professional, or mental health worker has violated any of the rights provided for in this Act, take all necessaiy action to rectify or remedy such violation, including recommending that an administrative, civil, or criminal case be filed by the appropriate government agency.

Sec. 24. Duties and Responsibilities of the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. - The DepEd, CHED, TESDA shall:

(a) Integrate age-appropriate content pertaining to mental health into the curriculum at all educational levels both in public and private institutions;

(b) Develop guidelines and standards on age-appropriate and evidencedbased mental health programs both in public and private institutions; and

(c) Pursue strategies that promote the realization of mental health and wellbeing in educational institutions.

Sec. 25. Duties and Responsibilities of the Department of Labor and Employment and the Civil Service Commission. - The DOLE and the CSC shall:

(a) Develop guidelines and standards on appropriate and evidenced-based mental health programs for the workplace as described in this Act.

(b) Develop policies that promote mental health in the workplace and address stigma and discrimination suffered by people with mental health conditions.

Sec. 26. Duties and Responsibilities of the Department of Social Work & Development. - The DSWD shall:

(a) Refer service users to mental health facilities, professionals, workers, and other service providers for appropriate care;

(b) Provide or facilitate access to public or group housing facilities, counselling, therapy, and livelihood training and other available skill development programs; and

(c) In coordination with LGUs and Barangays, formulate, develop, and implement community resilience and psychosocial well-being training, including psychosocial support services during and after natural disasters and other calamities.

Sec. 27. Duties & Responsibilities of Local Government Units. - Local Government Units (LGUs) shall:

(a) Review, formulate, and develop the regulations and guidelines necessary to implement an effective mental health care & wellness policy within the territorial jurisdiction of each LGU, including the passage of a local ordinance on the subject of mental health;

(b) Integrate mental health care services in the general health care delivery system and ensure that mental health services are provided in primary health care facilities and hospitals within their respective territorial jurisdictions;

(c) Establish the training programs necessary to enhance the capacity of mental health service providers at the LGU level;

(d) Promote de-institutionalization and other recover-based approaches to the delivery of mental health care services;

(e) Establish, re-orient, and modernize the mental health care facilities necessary to adequately provide mental health services to persons within their respective territorial jurisdictions;

(f) Where independent living arrangements are not available, provide or facilitate access to public housing facilities, vocational training and skill development programs, and disability or pension benefits;

(g) Refer service users to mental health facilities, professionals, workers, and other service providers for appropriate care; and

(h) Establish a multi-sectoral stakeholder network for the identification, management, and prevention of mental health conditions.

Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 28. Implementing Rules & Regulations. - The Secretary of Health, in coordination with the CHR, DSWD, DILG, DepEd, CHED, TESDA, DOLE, CSC, and associations or organizations representing service users and mental professionals, workers, and other service providers, shall issue the Implementing Rules & Regulations necessary for the effective implementation of this Act within ninety (90) days from the effectivity thereof.

Sec. 29. Appropriations. - The amount necessary for the initial implementation of the provisions of this Act shall be charged against the current year’s appropriations of the Department of Health. Thereafter, five percent (5%) of the incremental revenues from the excise tax on alcohol and tobacco products collected by the government pursuant to Republic Act No. 10351 shall be earmarked for the implementation of this Act.

See. 30. Penalty Clause. - Any person who violates any of the provisions of this Act or its Implementing Rules and Regulations shall, upon conviction by final judgment, be punished by imprisonment of not less than six (6) months nor more than two (2) years or a fine of not less than Ten Thousand pesos (PhP10,000), nor more than Two Hundred Thousand pesos (PhP200,000), or both, at the discretion of the court. If the violation is committed by a juridical person, the officer responsible therefor shall serve the imprisonment when imposed. If violation is committed by an alien, he or she shall be immediately deported after service of sentence, without need of further proceedings.

Sec. 31. Separability Clause. - If any provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.

See. 32. Repealing Clause. - All laws, decrees, executive orders, department or memorandum orders and other administrative issuances or parts thereof which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby modified, superseded or repealed accordingly.

Sec. 33. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.


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MANILA, Mar 20 (PNA) - Malacañang on Wednesday confirmed the termination of the appointments of government peace negotiators with communist rebels "in view of the termination of the peace negotiations" with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

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Malanjum keeping Mum about his Successor

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 20 (Bernama) - Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, who is due for compulsory retirement in April only smiled broadly and chose to remain secretive when asked about his successor.

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MP Noh Omar expelled from Dewan Rakyat for Three Days

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 19 (Bernama) - Tanjung Karang MP Tan Sri Noh Omar has been expelled from the Dewan Rakyat for three days from today.

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ICC Prosecutors to be deported if they Probe Drug War

MANILA, Mar 18 (PNA) - Prosecutors of the International Criminal Court (ICC), who will enter the Philippines to investigate the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, may be deported, Malacañang said on Monday.

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Selangor wants tougher Environmental Laws

SHAH ALAM, Mar 17 (Bernama) - The Selangor government wants to enforce more stringent laws to address issues related to environmental pollution in the state, said Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari.

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Rosmah's Graft Case transferred to High Court

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 15 (Bernama) - The High Court here today allowed the prosecution's application to transfer from the Sessions Court to the High Court the case involving two graft charges filed against Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is the wife of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

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IBP condemns Slay of another Lawyer in DavNor

MANILA, Mar 14 (PNA) - The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Thursday urged authorities to take action on the latest killing of a lawyer, Rex Jasper Lopoz, who was gunned down last March 13 in front of a shopping mall in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

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IPOPHL brings IP-focused MCLE Program to Cebu

MANILA, Mar 14 (PNA) - The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) will be mounting the 2019 edition of the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) this March in Cebu, to expand its education drive and reach out to IP practitioners in the Visayas.

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ASEAN aims at creating Future Digitally-Skilled Youths

Jakarta, Mar 14 (ANTARA) - Seven ASEAN member states, through the ASEAN Digital Innovation Programme initiated by the ASEAN Foundation in collaboration with Microsoft, aim to create digitally-skilled youths prepared to tackle challenges of the digital workspace in future.

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Tanintharyi Landholders sued under New Law

Local government officials and companies are already using the recently amended land law to remove villagers from disputed land, according to lawyers in southern Myanmar.

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SC to facilitate Greater Investor Inclusiveness

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 (Bernama) - Opening local corporate bonds and sukuk to retail investors who meet the requirements set are among the steps taken by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) to promote investors inclusiveness in the local market.

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SC aims Further Expansion of Islamic Capital Market, says Chairman

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 (Bernama) - The Securities Commission (SC), the regulatory body of the capital market, aim to foster growth that is premised on long-term value creation by intensifying efforts to further expand the Islamic capital market as well as the closely-linked sustainable finance segment.

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National E-Document Exchange Platform launched

Hanoi, Mar 12 (VNA) - The Government Office held a ceremony in Hanoi on March 12 to launch the National E-Document Exchange Platform, a move towards a digital government and economy.

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Cabinet approves 5Bn Baht Agro Subsidies

BANGKOK, Mar 13 (NNT) - The weekly Cabinet meeting has allocated another five billion baht to support rice agriculture during the current production year.

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