The House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation chaired by Rep. Florida Robes (Lone District, San Jose del Monte City) on Wednesday approved three bills seeking to professionalize Civil Engineering in the country.
Approved were House Bill 3884 authored by Deputy Speaker Evelina Escudero; HB 6836 by Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City); and HB 7547 by Rep. Aurelio Gonzales, Jr. (3rd District, Pampanga). The measures seek to amend and update Republic Act 544 or the Civil Engineering Law.
In her explanatory note of her bill, Escudero said 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.
She said her bill seeks to make the law attuned to national development needs, strengthen the profession, and enable civil engineers in the country to cope with the formidable challenges to become globally competitive, and continually upgrade their level of competence.
Praxedes Bernardo, Chairperson of the Board of Civil Engineering of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) agreed that RA 544 enacted in 1954 is already outdated.
Bernardo said the law needs amendment to encourage civil engineers to upgrade their level of competence by obtaining certificates of specialization under the profession.
Bernardo believes that the provisions under the Civil Engineering Law should be revised so that the scope of the profession can be widened.
The PRC and the Board of Civil Engineering fully supports the three measures, Bernardo said.
United Architects of the Philippines National President Benjamin Panganiban, Jr. for his part said that the Integrated and Accredited Professional Organizations of Architects welcomes proposals to update the Civil Engineering Law in consonance with RA 9266 or the New Architecture Act of 2004 which delineates architecture from civil engineering and other related professions.
Upon the motion of Gonzales, the committee approved the three measures.