20 February 2007

UAP's mission of a higher order

THE WORSENING rift between the professional organizations of architects and engineers in the city is dominating the airwaves here in Naga, sparked by the decision of Architect Hernani Aguilar, the city building official, to execute the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9266, also known as the "Architecture Act of 2004."

Aguilar, toeing the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) line, maintains that the IRR limits the preparation, signing and sealing of all architectural documents to licensed and registered architects. As a result, all building applications inconsistent with this requirement -- read, signed wholly by civil engineers, which used to be the case before Aguilar put his foot down -- would not pass muster.

The local chapter of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) are expectedly up in arms, even going to the extent of petitioning the city government for Aguilar's relief. The issue is now with the central office of the DPWH, which supervises all building units in the country.

If you want additional reference materials on this controversy, the full text of RA 9266 is available here. The official UAP position can be found on page 8 of this news bulletin. Dr. Angel Lazaro III, chair of the PRC's Board of Civil Engineering, on the other, has argued PICE's position in this presentation quite well. The PICE website, on the other hand, maintains a court injunction on a related, but separate revised IRR on the National Building Code has effectively maintained status quo.

Clearly, this is one issue that the courts must decide soonest. Pending that, a middle ground must be found that will accommodate both parties. But this issue should not deter UAP from performing what I think is its mission of a higher order, especially in the context of our ongoing effort to update Naga's land use plan. Urbano's ongoing series here, here and here explains it powerfully, his long pauses notwithstanding.:)

11 comments:

Flora Young said...

hi..are you from Bikol?

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Yes Flora. Naga City specifically. So you're from the region just next to us.

Urbano dela Cruz said...

hi willy,

thanks for the inbound link.

sounds like a tempest in a teapot to me. an argument over who gets to sign which document -and conversely, who gets the liability. (have the architects done their math? do they know how much insurance they have to get for the 1.5% liability clause?)

RA 9266 -as much as it is a professional regulatory instrument also seems to be a protectionist document. the local architecture industry's recourse to protecting their business interests.

I read through their newsletter (architects actually allowed a newsletter with that awful layout to carry their name??) -and I am astounded by the complete insularity and parochiality. their national conference had the theme "Empowerment of Filipino Architect: Forging Divergent Alliances and Revisiting Domestic Governance” -and I must ask, "empowering" for whom and for what?

their goals seem to be as awkward as that second clause goes: "divergent alliances" -when do alliances diverge? when they break up? and alliances for what? for their empowerment?

"revisiting domestic governance" -eh, local governance? or internal governance?

Their topics (listed on p.2 of the newsletter) don't give much comfort either. to whit:

-Pattern of Social Relationship and Degree of Depersonalization in Residential Subdivisions in the Urban Fringe Area in Davao City;
-Transformation of Space in Philippine Traditional Houses: Studies in the Morphology of Space from the Pre-Hispanic to the American Period;
-Green Buildings in Australia;
-Intimacy and Architecture and the Making of Memory;
-Outside Looking in the Thinking Behind the Works of Emerging Malaysian Architects;
-Developing a Methodology for Research-Teaching Integration in Architectural Education:
-A Framework for Philippine Architectural Education;
-Effective Graphics in Structures Class, Integrating Structures into Architecture;
Design/Build Education Today:
-A Graduated Approach to Constructed Design;
Innovative School Design Parameters in Hong Kong for 21st Century.


with the exception of Green Buildings (in Australia!) and perhaps the esoteric "degree of depersonalization" -none of the topics address the key national and global issues of our day.

where is sustainable architecture? livable cities? challenges of rapid urbanization? housing for the poor? -I HOPE they were tackled in the education frameworks.

sheesh!!

sorry for the long rant.

urbano

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

On the one hand, its 'protectionist' bent notwithstanding, I feel for the UAP and the architects who I think just want their own piece of the action.

Because civil engineers have been effectively excluding them because of underpricing, they are naturally up in arms. That, I can understand.

But as you pointed, to which I fully agree, this signing thing is not the end-all and be-all to their profession.

Thanks for pointing out the CABE to me: its a good model to bring them in the table to discuss the more pressing challenges of our times.

Anonymous said...

sir gudpm.i just read your message from your blog.with this scenario going against architects and civil engineers in the right on who is the authorize to signed and sealed the pland and other documents.it seems that this architecture act of 2004 refrain civil engineers from signing plans when in fact it is the duty of civil engineers to sign building plans many years ago without any case of dangering the safety of human health?And it affects the R A 544 law which is the existing law before the architectural law was implemented?it is unfair to us as young civil engineers to refrain from signing plans as it is another way for us to get income.

Anonymous said...

you can still sign building plans where your being an engineer applies.. architectural for architects & structural for engineers, so goes for the plumbing for master plumbers and electrical for electrical engineers
that way everybody gets a piece of the cake :D bottomline is sign only what you prepare. architects specializes/prepares architectural drawings, while civil engineers specializes/prepares structural drawings/ analysis..

Anonymous said...

Willy,

There shouldn't be a conflict. Architects are concerned about design and aestethics, Engineers about their structure and safety. Both should sign the blueprints for approval. About the percentages ?they should agree on the percentages and have a modus vivinde in their respective professional practice.


Porfirio Rubirosa

Anonymous said...

This issue is just too irresistable.

peace to all CEs!!

I understand how the CEs reacted on the issue..it's really hard to accept the fact that they are doing the jobs that's supposedly for the architects. we are being ripped off our rights as architects. guys don't you think you should be concentrating on the structural aspects? i think this issue is happening ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES!this is actually humiliating to filipinos. How a universally known profession can be misinterpreted by pinoy CEs.

iba man giraray ang design kan architect. let's make naga an magayon asin maogmang lugar! Aesthetic pays!its beyond just merely structure, unless we're all blind!

Anonymous said...

mr. urbano dela cruz, please read the syllabus for architecture education and civil engineering likewise... check on the math of the architects. before making some bias comments...check also their design subjects 1 to 10, whereas the ce's engr. drawing is only 1 & 2?

Anonymous said...

BTW, are you all aware of the LUZVIMINDA ECO-Houses ? The first showcase will be constructed in Bulan, Sorsogon. This is a prefab and supposed to be affordable and eco-friendly homes. Bicolanos should go for it !


Porfirio Rubirosa

Anonymous said...

HEHEHE,,,, ITONG PILIPINAS NA LANG ATA ANG MAY PRACTICE NA GANYAN.... ANG CIVIL ENGINEER ANG PIPIRMA SA ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS,,, ISA LANG PINAPAKITA NYAN...."NA KAHIT MEANING NG ARCHTECTURAL DRAWINGS AY NDE NILA ALAM"

IVE BEEN TO MIDDLE EAST,, TO UK,, TO BRUNEI,, MALAYSIA... AND I THINK SA IBANG BANSA DIN,,,, NA NDE PWEDE PUMIRMA ANG CIVIL ENGINEER SA ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS.....

"UMUNLAD NAMAN KAYO SA PAGIISIP"