Committee of Examiners for Massage Therapy (CEMT)

How can I be a qualified to work as a massage therapist?

  • An individual needs to take the licensure examination for massage therapist
  •  The CEMT is conducting the licensure examination twice a year (June and December). The Examination consists of two (2) parts; written and oral/practical. The examinee has to pass the written examination to qualify for the oral/practical examination. Once the examinee passes the oral/practical examination, he/she will be issued the Certificate of Registration (COR) and the ID as licensed massage therapist
  • Renewal of ID is every three (3) years on the massage therapists birth month and done in any of the DOH Center for Health Development (CHD) Offices.


How did it come into existence?

  • Traditional medicine throughout the world recognizes the significance of therapeutic massage in managing stress, illnesses or chronic ailments
  • Massage therapy is one of the oldest healing arts. Chinese records 3,000 years back documented it; the ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments. Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems
  • Massage therapy is considered the oldest method of healing that applies various techniques liked fixed or movable pressure, holding, vibration, rocking, friction, kneading and compression using primarily the hands and other areas of the body such as the forearms, elbows or feet to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the body.
  • Today, the benefits of massage are varied and far-reaching, as an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, proven to be beneficial on many chronic conditions.

How is Massage Therapy being regulated by the DOH?

·  DOH created the Committee of Examiners for Massage Therapy (CEMT) in the DOH Central Office to regulate the practice of massage therapy in accordance to the provisions of the Code on Sanitation of the Philippines or Presidential Decree 856 (PD 856) and Executive Order 102 (EO 102) s. 1999 Reorganization and Streamlining of the DOH

·  It provides the CEMT the function to ensure that only qualified individuals enter the regulated profession and that the care and services which massage therapists provide are within the standards of practice.

Program Coordinator Team Members

Dr. Josephine Hipolito / Mr. Ryan B. Dordas

Health Human Resource Development and Planning Bureau (HHRDB)

Bldg. 12-A 2nd Floor DOH Compound, Sta. Cruz, Manila

Contact No.: 651-7800 local 4203, 4204, 4227

What are the recent developments on Massage Therapy Program?

The CEMT, in coordination with the stakeholders, is currently busy on the following with the ultimate goal of professionalizing the massage therapy practice

           a. Administrative Order No. 2010-0034 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations Governing Massage Clinics and Sauna Establishments amending Chapter XIII of PD 856

           b. Memorandum dated 6 August 2010 to CHDs from HHRDB re: Updated on the CEMT Program

           c. CEMT Resolution No. 2010-001 “Directing the Adoption of the Code of Ethics for Massage Therapy Profession in the Philippines”

          d. Department Personnel Order No. 2011-0445 “Composition of DOH Continuing Massage Therapy Education Council (CMTEC) for the Year 2011-2014”

          e. Department Circular No. 2009-0018 “Reiteration on the strict implementation of CEMT resolutions regarding Massage Therapy Program”

          f. CEMT Resolution No. 2009-001 “Creation of a Committee for Continuing Massage Therapy Education Council (CMTEC)”

          g. Administrative Order No. 2008-0031 re: “Policies and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Training Institutions, Training Programs and Training Providers for Massage Therapists in the Philippines”

          h. CEMT Resolution No. 2008-002 “Accredited Training Institutions and Training Providers for Massage Therapists for Year 2009-2012”

          i. Department Memorandum No. 2008-0009 “Designation of Human Resource Development Units (HRDUs) of Centers for Health Development (CHDs) as Coordinators for CEUE and CEMT”

          j. CEMT Resolution No. 2007-001 “Moratorium on the Renewal of License of Massage Therapists for the Past Five (5) Years and Over”

         k. Developed/Formulated the following:

                  -         Competency Standards for Massage Therapists

                  -         Training Regulations

                  -         Curriculum for the Licensure Examination

                  -         Manual for the Licensure Examination

                  -         DOH Licensure Performance Protocols

  •         Conducted the following:

               -         Training of Trainers for Examiners and Assessors – July 12-14, 2010

               -         Training on Test Construction for Accredited Training Providers – July 15-16, 2010

               -         Conducting a Research on the Standardization of Professional Competencies and Licensure Examination for Embalmers and Massage Therapists” – 2010-2011, University of the Philippines Manila National Teacher Training Center for Health Professions (UPMNTTCHP).

What are the requirements for the licensure examination?

Application requirements:

a. Certified True Copy of Birth Certificate

(at least 18 years old at the time of examination)

b. Certificate of Good Moral Character from barangay captain of the community where the applicant resides

c. Certification or Clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) or provincial fiscal that he/she is not convicted by the court of any case involving moral turpitude.

d. Medical Certificate from a government physician

e. Certified true copy of Diploma or Transcript of Records (at least high school graduate)

f. Submit Marriage Contract for female married applicant

g. Certification from any DOH accredited training institution/provider that he/she has received basic instructions in five (5) subject areas based on Program Curriculum

h. Certification from any DOH accredited training institution/provider that he/she has skillfully embalmed at least 10 cadavers within one year period under his/her supervision

i. Filled up application form (1 copy)

j. 1 ½ X 1 ½ size photograph taken within the last 6 months (3 copies)


What is massage therapy?

·  Massage therapy is a system of assessment, evaluation and manual application techniques used in a scientific manner taking into account the muscle locations, stress points and other anatomical considerations of the human body.

·  It includes adjunctive external application of water, heat and cold, stretching, passive and active joint movement within the normal physiologic range of motion as a means of promoting pain relief, injury rehabilitation or health improvement in a safe, non-sexual environment that respects the client’s self-determined outcome for the session.

Who is a licensed massage therapist?

·  This refers to a trained person who passed the licensure examination for massage therapists

·  She/he is a holder of a valid Certificate of Registration (COR) and license for massage therapists issued by the Department of Health (DOH) Committee of Examiners for Massage Therapy (CEMT).