Professional Regulatory Board of Architecture

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The 2006 - 2012 Professional Regulatory Board of Architecture (PRBoA), which started with its first member on 3 November 2006, was fully reconstituted as of 30 March 2007 in full compliance with Republic Act No. 9266 (The Architecture Act of 2004). It served over the period 16 November 2006 through 23 November 2012 i.e. one (1) year and seven (7) calendar days (which ended with the appointment and swearing in of the new PRBoA Chairman, who heads the 2nd reconstituted PRBoA).

The PRBoA is one of 46 Professional Regulatory Boards (PRBs) under the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) of the Republic of the Philippines and served as the primary spokes-entity for the nine (9) Professional Regulatory Boards ("PRBs") making up the Philippine (PH) Technology Professions i.e. the built and natural environment professions of agriculture, architecture, chemistry, environmental planning, forestry, interior design, landscape architecture and master plumbing. The State-regulated professions of architecture, environmental planning, interior design, landscape architecture and master plumbing are also collectively considered as the environmental design professions.

The PRBoA as an entity is under the administrative control and supervision of the PRC, a quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative entity that forms part of the executive branch of the Philippine Government. As such, it does not act independently on matters involving the regulation of the practice of the profession of architecture in the Philippines. The reconstituted PRBoA is a collegial body and is active in the areas of executive action relating to the implementation and enforcement of Republic Act No. 9266 (otherwise known as the Philippine "Architecture Act of 2004"), its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) and derivative regulations e.g. other executive issuances of the PRBoA through the PRC.

The 16 November 2006 to 23 November 2012 reconstituted PRBoA was composed of three (2) privately practicing architects (working only on a part-time engagement as PRBoA members):

  • Acting Chairman - Armando N. Alli, who served from 15 November 2006 through 23 November 2012 (6 years and 1 week);
  • Senior Member - Angeline T. Chua Chiaco, who served from 3 November 2006 through 25 March 2013 (6 years and 4 months);
  • Junior Member - Marietta B. Segovia, who served from 30 March 2007 through 27 March 2013 (almost 6 years).

From 2009 through 2012/ 2013, all three (3) 2006-2012 PRBoA Members served in a holdover capacity, until their respective replacements were appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines (PH).

As of 23 November 2012, the 2006-2012 reconstituted PRBoA regulated the practice of about 30,000 PH-registered architects (RAs) nationwide/ overseas i.e. natural (not juridical) persons. Of this number of RAs, it is conservatively estimated that less than half (approx. 14,000) have valid licenses to practice i.e. a Registered and Licensed Architect (RLA) and that up to 50.0% of said RLAs may already working outside the country. The PRBoA also regulates the practice of foreign architects (FA) i.e. only as natural (not as juridical) persons, wishing to engage in the professional practice of architecture for any building project on Philippine soil for a limited period of time and of architectural firms (sole/single proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, associations and joint ventures). Only individual foreign architects/ FAs (not foreign architectural firms/ FAFs) are allowed to practice architecture in the Philippines together with counterpart Filipino RLAs and only if they are issued a special/ temporary permit (STP) in accordance with R.A. No. 9266. The PRBoA supports the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Architects Register and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations/ ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) and its ASEAN Architects' Council (AAC) for borderless architectural practice/s, as qualified under the protocols/agreements and as qualified by valid and subsisting laws on architectural practice in the Philippines.

The PRBoA also administers the Licensure Examination for Architects (LEA) given twice in Manila annually by the Philippine Government and of Foreign LEAs (FLEAs) given as part of the now annual PRC Special Professional Licensure Board Examinations (SPLBEs) in such countries as Saudi Arabia (KSA), Qatar, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for expatriate Filipinos (overseas Filipino workers or "OFWs"). Over the past six (6) years, the LEA mortality rate ranged from 49.0% to 68% per examination. Over the past 57 years of the regulation of Philippine architectural practice, only an average of about 400 annually are granted certificates and licenses to practice. With the elimination of manual drafting in the LEA subject of Architectural Design and Site Planning (ADSP) starting in late 2009 and with other LEA/ FLEA-related reforms, the LEA/ FLEA passing rates have more or less stabilized at 50 - 52%.

Among the executive concerns being presently addressed/ already addressed by the 2006 - 2012 reconstituted PRBoA are: 1) general information dissemination concerning the laws/ regulations on architectural practice, 2) enforcement mechanisms against illegal practitioners (non-RAs and non-RLAs) and 3) the completion of the amendments to the 1979 Standards of Professional Practice/SPP (otherwise known as the Architect's National Code/ ANC) in 2010. Among the quasi-judicial responsibilities being discharged by the PRBoA include the hearing of and the promulgation of decisions on administrative cases filed against RAs or RLAs and the review of cases against illegal practitioners for endorsement to prosecutors and Philippine courts.

The practice of architecture in the Philippines is only a professional privilege that is granted to individuals and firms (natural and juridical persons), duly registered and licensed in accordance with Philippine law i.e. limited only to RLAs and registered architectural firms (RAFs). It was never a right accorded to RAs nor to any other State-regulated and licensed professional (RLP), specifically certain PH civil engineers (CEs) and their organizations who/ which insist that they too can exercise the same professional privileges as RLAs. In the case of RLAs, such an exclusive professional privilege can be suspended or revoked by the PRBoA for cause/s provided under law and only in accordance with due process.

The preparation, signing and sealing of architectural plans and documents are only for RLAs and not for any other RLP or other unqualified entities under PH law (specifically PH civil engineers and other unregistered persons as defined by law, specifically by R.A. No. 9266). As such, the 2006 - 2012 reconstituted PRBoA has actively campaigned since early 2007 for the full implementation and enforcement of the pertinent provisions under R.A. No. 9266, which all limit the preparation, signing and sealing of architectural plans and documents only to RLAs and which mandate all officials of the PH national and local governments to fully implement and enforce the said provisions. This means that even RAs who have not updated their licenses to practice architecture are prohibited from practicing until such time that they are able to renew such licenses (in the form of renewable identification/ ID cards).

Among the legal steps taken by the PRBoA to fully implement and enforce R.A. No. 9266 include the filing of graft charges against national and local government officials who refuse to implement and enforce R.A. No. 9266 and the harmonized provisions of the 2004 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of P.D. No. 1096 (the 1977 National Building Code of the Philippines/ NBCP). Also impleaded in the said suits are private individuals who willfully resist or violate the said laws.

Among the legislative initiatives of the 2006 - 2012 reconstituted PRBoA are participation in collaborative efforts to repeal the 1977 National Building Code of the Philippines (NBCP or Presidential Decree No. 1096), the amendment of anti-graft laws, the review of bills that tend to undermine professional architectural practice, the professionalization of the Local Government Unit (LGU) position of Building Official (BO) and Assistant Building Official (ABO), bills on non-mobile billboards, consulting service regulation and various other related concerns.

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