Advocacy Heroine: Dr. Lily Rosqueta-Rosales
Interviewed by Stephanie Burns, Advocacy Committee Co-Chair
It was an honor to be able to write about the achievements of a driving force in counselor professional identity in the Republic of the Philippines. Dr. Lily Rosqueta-Rosales has served the counseling profession in numerous capacities as President of the Philippine Guidance and Personnel Association, the Philippines Chapter of the American Association for Counseling and Development, as well as the first overseas President of the Iota Phi Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota. This article documents her inspiration and satisfactions in advocating for the counseling profession in the Philippines along with advice for experienced and new professional counseling advocates all over the world.
Dr. Rosqueta-Rosales’ motivation for profession advocacy comes from her compassion for any kind of suffering. She views professional advocacy as an avenue to assist those with broken minds and broken spirits. She finds that professional advocacy helps government, public, and private sectors view the counseling profession as improving the lives of all individuals in the Republic of the Philippines in terms of wellness, prevention, improved quality of life, and discovering and developing each individual’s talents and potentials.
Dr. Rosqueta-Rosales knows that professional advocates must cultivate patience. She stated that it took 30 years to have the credentialing law for counselors in the Philippines passed by Congress. She noted that she took part in writing the first draft in the 1970’s. During this time she consulted with the University of the Philippines Law Center and subjected the credentialing law to open meetings and workshops. Next, some succeeding presidents of the Philippine Guidance and Personnel Association Inc., (PGPA), now the Philippine Guidance and Counseling Association, Inc. (PGCA), continued the work on the credentialing law until it was submitted to the House of Representatives and then to the Senate for deliberations. It was at this time that Dr. Rosqueta-Rosales attended Congressional meetings wherein the bill was discussed until it became a law, Republic Act 9285, in 2004. She stated that the biggest hurdle in getting the credentialing law passed was making the time to be available at congressional meetings, which were scheduled and re-scheduled at random with little notice in the midst of a full time job at the University of the Philippines. Dr. Rosqueta-Rosales noted that all professional advocates need to be patient with the bureaucratic process and make time to take part in it as the bureaucratic process is central to our scope of practice and ability to assist our clients.
Dr. Rosqueta-Rosales said that because she was beyond the maximum age of 70 years upon the creation of the Professional Regulatory Board in 2006 that she was appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines through a waiver to serve on the Board for one year. Dr. Rosqueta-Rosales said that she received this special accommodation because of her successful track record in several different organizations. During this time the committee was tasked with writing the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9258. Dr. Rosqueta-Rosales noted that the appointed chairman, with a tenure of three years, unexpectedly died of cancer before the IRR could be fully implemented. She said that itwas at this time that she was assigned as chair and took over responsibility for the IRR, Code of Ethics, Standards of Good Practice, and meet the obligations for all pending political and social requests of the Commission. Dr. Rosqueta-Rosales said that she thrived as chairperson by invoking her firm resolve to make sure that the profession would not be "tainted in any way.” In addition she believes that integrity, magnanimity of character, good will, and diplomacy convinces others to believe in the noble profession of counseling. She said that she stayed at the Commission for three years and two months instead of one year, when her request to retire at 78 years old was granted.
Dr. Rosqueta-Rosales encouraged all professional advocates to keep learning, stay in touch with the field, and volunteer to serve the profession as a professional advocate where we can work to make a positive difference. She said that professional advocates should know themselves well in terms of strengths and weaknesses. She noted that it is best to approach professional advocacy from a stance of patience, understanding, goodwill, and diplomacy. This advice comes from learning when she was younger that being very aggressive for the counseling profession may not have looked favorably to other professions in the social sciences. Now, she said that she underscores patience and diplomacy. Lastly, Dr. Rosqueta-Rosales suggested that professional advocates pray for the guidance "to do right.”
To learn more about Dr. Rosqueta-Rosales, you may read her Biography. In 1996, she was the first recipient of the Thomas J. Sweeney Professional Leadership Award.
To learn more about the Philippines, visit the Philippines Guidance and Counseling Association, or the Philippine Mental Health Association.
Originally posted November 30, 2011 at csi-net.org.