Environmental Law

Committee approves Environmental Engineering Bill

Date: 01 November 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: House of Representatives

The House Committee on Appropriations chaired by Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles (1st District, Davao City) approved a substitute bill which seeks to regulate the practice of environmental engineering in the country.

The approval was done in a recent hearing that was presided by Committee Vice Chairperson Rep. Maria Carmen Zamora (1st District, Compostela valley).

Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), principal author of the unnumbered substitute bill, said it is the primary objective of the measure to professionalize and regulate the practice of environmental engineering to advance the cause of a balanced and healthful environment in the midst of industrial and economic growth in the Philippines.

“Man’s focus has been more on fiscal and industrial success rather than on substantial balance of both progress and environmental sustainability. To disregard the latter would allow man to limitless access to the environment and natural resources, tending to its abuse without being mindful of what may be left for those in the future,” explained Rodriguez.

Rep. Celso Lobregat (1st District, Zamboanga City), a co-author of the bill, referred to environmental engineering as the “application of science and engineering principles to improve the environment.”

“Environmental engineers are actively involved in the design of systems and processes used for pollution control and mitigation. Physical, chemical, and biological aspects of treatment processes are investigated and developed,” said Lobregat.

The proposed “Environmental Engineering Act” shall cover the following: a) examination, registration, and licensure of practitioners; b) regulation, supervision, and control of the practice; and c) development, upgrading, and updating of the environmental engineering curriculum, in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and higher educational institutions, among others.

The bill provides for the establishment of the Professional Regulatory Board of Environmental Engineering under the administrative supervision and control of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

The Board shall be comprised of a Chairperson and four board members, who shall all be appointed by the President of the Philippines.

The Board Chairman and two members shall be in-charge of the environmental engineering licensure examinations. Meanwhile, the Chairman and the other two members shall be responsible for the environmental engineering technologists and environmental engineering technicians.

The Board shall exercise the following powers, functions, and responsibilities: (1) promulgate the implementing rules and regulations (IRR); (2) regulate the registration, licensure, and the practice of environmental engineering; (3) issue the certificate of registration and professional identification cards to successful registrants; (4) hear and investigate cases arising from violations; (5) prepare the syllabi of the subjects for examination, determine the questions for the licensure exams, and rate the exam papers; (6) prescribe and adopt a Code of Ethics; and (7) prescribe guidelines in the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program and create the CPD Council, which shall provide and ensure the continuous development of all practitioners, among others.

All applicants for registration shall be required to pass a written technical examination. The measure further specifies the qualifications of licensure examinations for environmental engineers, as well as environmental engineering technologists and technicians.

To pass the licensure examinations, a candidate must obtain a weighted general average of at least 70 percent with no grade lower than 50 percent. If ever the applicant reaches a 70 percent weighted general average or higher but gets a rating below 50 percent in any given subject, he or she must retake the particular subject/s accordingly.

Other authors of the bill are Reps. Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr. (Lone District, Ifugao), Gary Alejano (Party-list, MAGDALO), Mario Vittorio Mariño (5th District, Batangas), Gabriel Bordado, Jr. (3rd District, Camarines Sur), Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. (2nd District, Camarines Sur), Lianda Bolilia (4th District, Batangas), Karlo Alexei Nograles (1st District, Davao City), Harlin Neil Abayon III (Party-list, AANGAT TAYO), and Eugene Michael De Vera (Party-list, ABS).

The bill shall be referred to the plenary when the Third Regular Session of the 17th Congress resumes.

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