Perseverance to uplift the architect

July 2, 2019 | By: Arch. Benjamin K. Panganiban, Jr., (first published in The Manila Times last July 2, 2019)

Even before the Malugot inaugural of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) National (fiscal year 2019-2020) last June 30, I already felt the support and eagerness of the different chapters, commissions, committees and the UAP National secretariat in planning and executing the organization’s programs.

There is so much electricity in the air. From my travels around the country to help the chapters promote the profession, push for the “Get An Architect” campaign, understand Republic Act (RA) 9266 or the “Architecture Law,” and visit local government executives, I saw their desire to join the bandwagon in protecting the profession.

It was like the ripple effect of UAP chapters urging local government units (LGUs) at the Sanggunian level to support our advocacies. This should be the case. Last year, we focused on LGUs and we were very successful with the “Get An Architect” drive.

The feeling is ecstatic as several cities, provinces and municipalities such as Koronadal City, Angeles City, Sipalay City, Ilog City, Lipa City, Malolos in Bulacan, Tagum City, Masbate, Mindoro and more localities passed resolutions for RA 9266, the City Architect’s Office and the Architectural Permits through the help of the local chapters.

The information, directions and documentations from the UAP National have empowered these chapters to go the extra mile. This has tickled me pink. I went around the country meeting UAP chapters and national and local government officials last year explaining to them the rationale of the architect’s law and the architectural permit. It was successful.

We were fortunate to have visited the offices of Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd, Sen. Grace Poe, the governor of Rizal with the UAP Rizal Taytay chapter, the mayor of Koronadal City with the UAP Koronadal chapter, the city mayor of Sta. Catalina with the UAP Ilocos Ciudad Fernandina chapter, vice mayor of Navotas with UAP AB Bantayog chapter, mayor of Tanauan with UAP Batangas Lakeshore chapter, vice mayor of Consolacion in Cebu, congressional representative of Davao Oriental, governor of Capiz with UAP Capiz chapter, mayor of Cagayan De Oro City with UAP Gold CDO chapter, and more. It just proves that the national and local government officials are not aware of RA 9266. So, there is a need for a massive information drive for it.

The sign says there is trust in the present UAP administration. There is desire to serve. There is change happening! Even some chapters have a lot of members wanting to serve! These are truly heart-warming.

The atmosphere at the UAP National office is so infectious that the UAP National Secretariat is even going out of its way to make things comfortable and convenient for the officers and members. Harmonious relationship coupled with work ethics should prevail among UAP national officers. Following this, we did activities that were built on trust and confidence.

Not surprisingly, the UAP National election statistics for 2018 to 2019 showed the opposition got more or less 30 percent of the voting population. For 2019 to 2020, the opposition got even lower at 26 percent.

In short , the overwhelming support for this administration’s campaign to serve the members is written everywhere through the empowerment of the chapters to promote the profession. The UAP National leadership will focus on protecting the architects by establishing linkages in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

The theme we have chosen for the UAP National inaugurals is “Malugot,” a word from Davao, which means to persevere. I want to relate this with our direction towards firm conviction, continuous steadfastness and commitment.

If other chapters have observed the vision and mission of the UAP elected officers under this leadership, the direction is very clear to us.

“United, Able and Proactive” is the theme for this fiscal year. It is a continuation of last year’s theme “Unity, Ability and Continuity of Service.” I, myself, will perform and set the example, to show the members, various chapters and commissions and committees how to promote and protect the profession, direct the chapters, architects on implementing RA 9266, show the intentions of the organization and emphasize to the public the different kinds of work the architect does.

This leadership will emphasize our architectural branding as we lay the ground works for the public to appreciate the value and the works of the architects.

We will also execute the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs and encourage chapters and committees to do CPDs of the members as a service and not for any other purpose; and lastly, make the CPD programs under the Commission on Professional Development and the Committee on Professional Development felt by the members to be affordable, accessible and appropriate. These CPD programs should tie down specialty courses, which we will now propagate in collaboration with the specialty council heads and the Commission on Education.

The UAP National is doing a lot for the organization. The National President’s inaugural message setting forth the tone and directions for the chapters to execute this year, the awarding of the Professional Regulatory Commission to UAP as the Outstanding Accredited Professional Organization 2019 for the 8th time, and the work we put in to make the UAP National reach out to the members such as the UAP Publications, UAP Posts, membership care and concerns of the Commission on Internal Affairs and the Professional Development Corp., Commission on Education and CPD’s are just some of the proofs that we, are on the right track.

We are committed to the members and we are all one family. The UAP headquarters has conducted and will continue to conduct monthly CPD so any member can just walk in and join seminars and earn points there. And we will continue what we started which is giving out free CPDs and Piso Fare CPDs around the country as this has become a regular thing for us to do for the members. We have done these in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon last year. We will do it again in various cities around the country.

As I write, UAP National will open its first salvo of CPD by bringing to the City of Legazpi on July 19 to 20 this year two Japanese lecturers on Zero Energy Buildings.

I encourage all the chapters, district directors and council members, and area vice presidents to support and enjoin the national organization by contributing their own activities in collaboration with their district directors.

Let us uplift the profession. Mabuhay ang Arkitektong Pilipino. Mabuhay ang UAP.

I also observed the dynamism of the various commissions, committees and even UAP members from all walks of life, who wanted to volunteer their services to the UAP national way early before the Malugot inaugural. This has been observed not just by me, but by other national officers as well.

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