Implement RA9266 or the Architecture Act of 2004
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Implement RA 9266 Now! More and more buildings and residential structures are being constructed and yet many have become an eyesore and are not properly planned to the dissastifaction of the users and detriment to the environment.
Developments in recent years witness how the practice of architecture has been appropriated by many entities who are not academically trained or professionally qualified to engage in the practice of the profession. These include other professionals, project managers, contractors/subcontractors, developers, capitalists, investors, foreign practitioners, and local and foreign corporations/firms directly or indirectly involved in land and property development work.
The sorry state of our built environment can be attributed to the proliferation of unqualified entities providing planning, design and construction of buildings who have no professional responsibility nor civil liability for the erected structures. This has placed the public at great risk considering graphic tragedies resulting from faulty planning or design. It should be noted too, that designing for buildings is not only about strength but also about utility or function and aesthetics. Buildings should be designed in accord to its site conditions and its impact to the environment as well as considering socio-cultural and historical context.
It is high time that the Filipino public be assured that only individuals who have been properly educated, qualified and trained will undertake the planning and design of buildings and be held responsible for such acts.
The Architecture Act of 2004 [R.A. 9266] regulates the practice of architecture and defines the scope thereof. The said law is clear and categorical — only architects can prepare and sign architectural documents (Section 20, par. 5). There are no ifs or buts about it. The law does not provide for any exception. Only architects. And not only that, it also prohibited building officials from accepting or approving architectural plans or specifications which are not signed by architects (Section 20, par. 2).
Thirteen years has passed and yet the law is NOT being implemented in many areas in the Philippines. Sadly, up to now, several building permits are being processed and approved without the involvement of an architect.
Let us put a stop to this unfavorable practice. The government must ensure that the built environment is well-planned and designed to come up with more livable and safe communities. Enforce RA9266! And ensure that no building permit will be approved unless the architectural documents carry the signature and seal of an architect!
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