ARCHITECTS are up in arms over the “vague and general” provisions of Senate Bill 2109 or the proposed Civil Engineering Law, claiming the measure would render their profession obsolete.

The bill, filed by Sen. Francis Joseph Escudero last July 10, aims to strengthen the civil engineering profession through“peer recognition of specialization.”

But under the bill’s definition of terms, “consultation,design, preparation of plans, specifications, [and] estimates”—all commonly done by architects—were included in the general practice of civil engineers.

College of Architecture Dean John Joseph Fernandez said the “problematic” definition encroaches on therole of architects.

Civil engineers had already “vowed” not to do designs in a “status-quo” agreement signed during the time of Yolanda Reyes, former dean of the college, he noted.

“Not that I’m against it, but let’s make it clear. Ito (works including designs), pinag-aaralan namin, bakit n’yo [pa] kukunin?”Fernandez said.

Architects want to remove the words “design” and “planning” from the bill’s definition of terms, he added.

A position paper by the United Architects of the Philippines released last August 9 said that the “bill, as presently worded, may cloud the delineation between the practice of architecture and the practice of civil engineering, because the said bill does not expressly exclude architectural documents and plans from those which could be prepared and signed by civil engineers.”

For Civil Engineering Department Chair Rodelio Tiburcio, the bill is no longer needed.

“For me, these bills [like the Civil Engineering Law] are no longer needed, but I’m for everything that will define the limitations of every [profession] to settle things once and for all,” he said.

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Senate Bill 2770, with similar provisions protecting the Civil Engineering profession, was earlier filed by Sen. Panfilo Lacson last March 31.He withdrew it in a Senate Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization hearing last August 9 to give way to SB2109.

Faculty of Engineering Dean Josefin de Alban declined to comment and said he has still studying the matter. Diana Jean B. Evite and Bernadette D. Nicolas

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi, I just wanted to say that, that proposed bill must be studied well; architectural drawings (e.g. Plans, elevations, sections) were called “Architectural Drawings” for a reason. Architectural Drawings are supposed work of architects; on the other hand, structural drawings are for engineers to do. Designing and making plans, elevations etc. is not as easy as drawing a simple line, it must be studied very well. Instead of pursuing this bill, why not proposed a well-studied bill that will generally divide and specifically state the scope and limitation of each profession, architectural for architects, structural for engineers.

    Bernardo R. Yulas
    Contributor, http://www.OurHappySchool.com

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