By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation has passed measures seeking to amend the outdated Civil Engineering Law.
The panel, chaired by San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes, passed House Bills 3884, 6836, and 7547, authored by Deputy Speaker and Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., respectively.
It was Gonzales who moved for the approval of the three measures, which seek to amend Republic Act 544, the Civil Engineering Law and to professionalize civil engineering in the country.
“The Civil Engineering Law or Republic Act 544, which governs the practice of Civil Engineering in the Philippines, was amended 49 years ago and since then, the role of civil engineers has evolved in the light of globalization and cross-boarder practice,” Escudero said.
She said the measure seeks to strengthen the engineering profession and make RA 544 attuned to national development needs.
“This will enable civil engineers in the country to cope with the formidable challenges to become globally competitive, and continually upgrade their level of competence,” he said.
Praxedes Bernardo, chairperson of the Board of Civil Engineering of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), rallied behind the measures, citing the need to amend RA 544 to encourage civil engineers to upgrade their level of competence by obtaining certificates of specialization under the profession.
The PRC official said the scope of the engineering profession can be widened by revisiting the provisions of the Civil Engineering Law.
Bernardo said that the PRC and the Board of Civil Engineering were fully supportive of the measures.
United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) National President Benjamin Panganiban Jr. said that the Integrated and Accredited Professional Organizations of Architects also supported the measures.
He said the efforts to amend RA 544 was in consonance with RA 9266 or the New Architecture Act of 2004 which delineates architecture from civil engineering and other related professions.