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United Architects of the Philippines Samar Sinirangan Chapter

RA 9266 Architecture Act of 2004

Roster of Architects
RA 9266 Architecture Act of 2004
Open Letter
Chapter Activities


                                           The Professional Regulatory

                                          Board of Architecture


               Office of the Chairman



Your Ref:                                Our Ref: 07_PRBoA-023r2


14 April 2007


The Municipal/ City Mayor

Local Government Unit (LGU)





            The Municipal/ City Legal officer


THROUGH    :  Office of the Municipal/ City Building Official (or its Duly Designated Office/s in an Acting Capacity)


             Office of the Municipal/ City Zoning Administrator


             Office of the Municipal/ City Planning and Development Coordinator


Regional Director, Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)




REFERENCES :  Current Information Furnished by the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) Chapters Concerning the Possibly Willful/ Deliberate Violations of Provisions of Republic Act (RA) No. 9266 (The Architecture Act of 2004), its IRR and its Derivative Regulations


Mesdames/ Gentlemen,


Warm greetings! In response to the reported situation in Your LGU as regards the matter of the rightful regulated professional who should prepare, sign and seal architectural documents, the Professional Regulatory Board of Architecture (hereinafter the “PRBoA”) is herein making known its official position concerning said matter.


The continuing practice of Civil Engineers (the “CEs”) in the preparation, signing and dry-sealing of architectural documents, not limited to architectural plans, designs and specifications, appear to be clear, unequivocal, continuing, orchestrated and willful violations of Republic Act (RA) 9266 (Architecture Act of 2004), its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) and derivative regulations.


Despite the full effectivity of RA 9266 since 10 April 2004 (over 3 years ago), the CEs continue to prepare, sign and seal architectural documents, with the Professional Regulatory Board of Civil Engineering (the “PRBoCE”) and the Accredited Professional Organization (“APO”) for CEs (the “PICE”) averring that CEs can legally do so by virtue of the following:


1)   RA 544 of 1950 (The Civil Engineering law), as amended by RA 1582 of 1956 (which is the actual CE law that is in effect, having superseded RA 544 in June 1956);


2)   PD 1096, otherwise known as the National Building Code of the Philippines (the “NBCP”) signed by then Pres. Ferdinand Marcos on 19 February 1977 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (“IRR”);


3)   Ministry Order No. 57, supposedly based on PD 1096 and its IRR;


4)   Writ of Preliminary Injunction (the “WPI” or the “injunction”) issued 24 May 2005 by RTC Manila Branch 22 against the implementation by the DPWH of Secs. 302.3 and 302.4 of the 2004 Revised IRR of PD 1096 and based mainly on the application/s filed/ representations made by the PICE joined by some CEs in their private capacities; and


5)   Memorandum of the DPWH Secretary dated 6 September 2005, issued in full compliance with the injunction.   


The PRBoA has the following statements anent the foregoing:


1)   Neither RA 544 nor RA 1582 appear to allow CEs to prepare, sign or seal architectural documents; the fact that 2 separate sets of statutes i.e. RA 544/ 1582 and RA 545/ 1581 were signed into law in 1950 and subsequently/ consecutively amended in 1956 clearly point to the exclusivity of the practice of the 2 professions; while it may be gleaned from Sec. 2 (a) of RA 1582 that CEs can design and prepare plans, specifications and estimates for “buildings”, the same is limited by the fact that the word or term “architectural” is never mentioned in RA 1582 as it constitutes part of a separate practice of the profession of architecture as defined under RA 1581, a statute passed before RA 1582; moreover, the term “building” as used in Sec. 2 (a) does not refer to buildings per se but to buildings forming part of engineering structures or works; in fact, Sec. 23 of RA 1582 mentions only “any building or structure intended for public gathering or assembly such as theaters, cinematographs, stadia, churches or structures of like nature” i.e. buildings with large structural spans; a key and most important amendatory provision of RA 1582 (again, not the superseded RA 544) is its Sec. 24, which states in part, that “members who are civil engineers shall only render work and services proper for a civil engineer XXX architects shall also render work and services proper for an architect; individual members of such firms XXX shall be responsible for their own respective acts.”; the foregoing sections of RA 1582 (which is the governing law for CEs since June 1956 i.e. not RA 544) clearly defines the limits of the CEs’ practice as not extending into the practice of architecture and therefore barring CEs from preparing/ signing/ sealing architectural documents, particularly in light of the more specific and recent approval of the Architecture Act of 2004 (the “RA 9266”); the Department of Justice (DoJ) in its January 2004 Opinion based on the comparison of RA 1582/ 544 and RA 1581/ 545 (at the behest of the PICE members) has already clearly spoken about the definitive distinctions of the 2 professions i.e. architectural plans and designs are for architects and structural plans and designs are for civil engineers (reference Attachment 1); the foregoing should properly address Your LGU’s continuing reference/s to the supposed “right/s” of CEs to prepare, sign and seal architectural plans, a right that was never vested on the CEs since the approval of both RA 544 and RA 545 in 1950, nor with the amended RA 1582 and RA 1581 which clearly separated the respective practices of the 2 professions; since then and up to the present time, CEs wanting to/ desirous of entering the practice architecture must attain the following before doing so: 1) secure a B.S. Architecture degree; 2) complete a minimum 2–year diversified training period in the planning/ design/ construction of buildings; 3) pass the Architects’ Licensure Examination (ALE) and 4) be registered/ licensed as an Architect by the PRC (and thereafter to take the Architect’s Oath and be issued a PRC ID as a Registered Architect); lacking any of these basic qualifications under law, CEs cannot practice the separate/ distinct profession of architecture, not now and not ever; the CE registration and license does NOT confer upon CEs any right to practice any branch of architecture or offer any architectural service (even if the architectural outputs are labeled/ mislabeled as civil engineering documents), specifically defined under Article I Sec. 3 (3) of RA 9266 (or under the applicable sections of its predecessor laws RA 1581 and RA 545), their IRRs and derivative regulations; RA 1582 also does not have a recognizable IRR that should be promulgated by the PRC and that should be used to implement RA 1582 nationwide; having clearly established that the preparation of architectural documents does not form part of the practice of CEs, the CEs cannot therefore invoke the applicability of Sec. 43 of RA 9266, as it clearly does not apply i.e. the preparation, signing and sealing of architectural documents (particularly if the architectural documents are labeled/ mislabeled as civil engineering documents) do not form part of the practice of the legally recognized profession of civil engineering;       


2)   There is absolutely nothing in Section 302 of the February 1977 National Building Code of the Philippines/ NBCP (the “PD 1096” or the “National Building Code”) which can be remotely construed as allowing CEs to act as a signatory to architectural documents; its Sec. 302 (Application for Permits) clearly states “To be submitted together with such application are at least five sets of corresponding plans and specifications prepared, signed and sealed by a duly (sic) mechanical engineer in case of mechanical plans, and by a registered electrical engineer in case of electrical plans, except in those cases exempted by the Building official under this Code.” (reference Attachment 2); Sec. 302 of the version/s of Sec. 302 of PD 1096 and its IRR invoked by the CEs are therefore not consistent with the authentic/ Malacañang Records Office-certified version of PD 1096 (reference Attachments 2 and 3) nor with the IRR printed in the Official Gazette (reference Attachment 4); moreover, PD 1096 and its IRR only cover matters attendant to the planning/ design of buildings/ structures in general and to securing building permits in particular; PD 1096 and its IRR, specifically its questioned Sec. 302.3 and 302.4, notwithstanding the injunction, are MERE EXECUTIVE ISSUANCES (NOT STATUTES NOR POLICY) containing a list of documents that may accompany a building permit application; Secs. 302.3 and 302.4 DO NOT GOVERN the practice of the regulated technological professions of architecture nor civil engineering, only the professional regulatory laws such as RA 9266 and RA 1582 (amending RA 544) do;


3)   Ministry Order (MO) No. 57, another mere executive issuance, is clearly not vested with the power to change Sec. 302 of the authentic/ Malacañang Records Office-certified copy of PD 1096; MO No. 57 is being erroneously portrayed by CEs as supposedly capable of amending/ superseding specific provisions under both PD 1096 (its enabling law) and its IRR as well as RA 9266 (and its predecessor laws RA 1581/ RA 545), all special laws being clearly superior to MO No. 57 i.e. the equivalent of a mere Department Order or Department or a Department Administrative Order at the present time; the CEs look to MO No. 57 provision/s supposedly allowing CEs to sign and seal architectural documents as if these were laws to govern the professional practice of CEs and architects, when in fact, said provision/s have no legal basis i.e. nothing anchored on Sec. 302 of the authentic/ Malacanang Records Office-certified copy of PD 1096 nor its Official Gazette-published IRR; lacking legal basis, the said provision/s under Ministry Order 57 may be likened to being nothing more than a scrap of paper;


4)   The current injunction on the specified sections of a mere executive issuance (Secs. 302.3 and 302.4 of the 2004 Revised IRR of PD 1096) does not address the following important laws that materially affect the issues raised in the PICE application for TRO/ WPI: 1) RA 9266 (and even its predecessor laws RA 1581/ 545); 2) the original and authentic/ Malacañang Records Office-certified copy of PD 1096 and its published IRR; and 3) the qualifications restricting the practice of CEs under RA 1582/ RA 544 and even under RA 1581; the WPI on portions of a mere executive issuance (reference Attachment 5) should NOT be used as an excuse to restrain the operation, implementation and enforcement of a national law that is in full effect (RA 9266), particularly if RA 9266 is NOT the subject of the said injunction; and


5)   The Memorandum of the DPWH Secretary issued 26 September 2005 was but in faithful compliance with the injunction; as with MO No. 57, the Memorandum is another mere executive issuance that CANNOT supersede/ take precedence over a national law that is in full effect; the same document also does NOT govern professional practice; only the professional regulatory laws do; however, if such an order is not founded on law, then such an order becomes illegal and unenforceable i.e. if the authentic Sec. 302 of PD 1096 does not state that civil engineers (CEs) can sign and seal architectural documents, then Building Officials (or the City/ Municipal Engineers in an acting capacity) cannot and must not accept architectural documents signed and sealed by CEs, or else they clearly run the risk of being charged for violation/s of RA 9266.          


     It is very important to note that the acknowledged father of both RA 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code and of RA 9266 itself (The Architecture Act of 2004), the good Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., has on many occasions confirmed the primacy and sole vested right of registered/ licensed architects insofar as the preparation, signing and sealing of architectural documents are concerned.


     Summing up, the PRBoA would like to remind our brothers in government service that we are still a government of laws and we all must dutifully work to maintain such a state. The injunction applies only to specified portions of a mere executive issuance i.e. portions of Secs. 302.3 and 302.4 of the 2004 Revised IRR of PD 1096/ the NBCP, which are minor regulations covering the filing of support documents for a building permit application. The injunction does not apply to regulated professional practice per se, as clearly defined under the pertinent professional regulatory laws (RA 9266 and RA 1582, amending RA 544), which are all under the aegis of the PRC i.e. a quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative body, not with the DPWH nor with the DILG, which are line agencies.


     As such, the injunction on a mere executive issuance (reference Attachment 5) issued by a line agency (the DPWH) cannot and must not be used to circumvent or delay the implementation/ enforcement of the clear provisions and unequivocal intent of a Republic Act such as RA 9266, a superior statute and special law crafted and approved by the legislative and executive branches of government, particularly if the injunction does not apply to RA 9266 and more particularly since RA 9266, a material law to consider in the case/ applications for TRO/ WPI filed by the CEs, was not addressed in the injunction.




     While RA 9266 may already be deemed part of the case by virtue of the architects’ timely intervention in the case in late 2005, RA 9266 was however never part of the April/ May 2005 TROs nor injunction, issued many months before and which have not been modified since to encompass RA 9266, its IRR and derivative regulations. Therefore, an unrestrained national law such as RA 9266 must be accorded its due respect and be made to prevail over inferior regulations/ incorrectly invoked or non-existent laws (such as the alleged CE version of Sec. 302 of PD 1096) or over superseded and antiquated laws.


     In view of the powers vested upon the LGU by virtue of RA 7160, and in full accord with Sec. 44 (Enforcement of the Act) of RA 9266 (a law that is in full effect), the PRBoA hereby officially calls on/ requests the assistance of the LGU in fully enforcing the provisions of RA 9266 (and its IRR as well as its derivative regulations) and to prosecute any person violating provisions of the same.


     As a parting reminder, the PRBoA is constrained to list the other pertinent provisions of RA 9266 that directly/ specifically affect/ apply to fellow servants in government service, to wit:


1)   Sec. 20 (2);


2)   Sec. 29 (Prohibition in the Practice of Architecture and Penal Clause), particularly the portion stating “or any person XXX who knowingly allows the use, adoption, implementation of plans, designs or specifications made by any person, firm, partnership or company not duly licensed to engage in the practice of architecture, or any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this Act, its IRR XXX or any policy of the Board and the Commission (PRC), shall be guilty of misdemeanor and charged in court by the Commission and shall, upon conviction be sentenced to a fine of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) but not more than Five million pesos (P5,000,000.00) or to suffer imprisonment for a period not less than six (6) months or not exceeding six (6) years, or both at the discretion of the Court.”; and


3)   Sec. 35 (Positions in Government Requiring the Services of Registered and Licensed Architects), which was scheduled to take effect on 10 April 2007 (earlier this week).


     While the undersigned and the PRBoA fully appreciate Your LGU’s desire to fully comply with the injunction, albeit applicable only to portions of a mere executive issuance (and not to RA 9266), the undersigned must however insist that the implementation of a national law (RA 9266) takes precedence and should no longer be delayed, as said law has already been in effect since 10 April 2004.


     For the last fifty six (56) years, our fellow technological professionals, the CEs have continued to reap benefits that were never theirs by right nor as prescribed under law. RA 9266 only reiterated what was already stated under RA 1581 and RA 545 and even under RA 1582 i.e. that the practice of architecture is vested only on registered/ licensed architects and on no one else.


     It is now time for the rightful regulated professionals to do the job and to render services to a public that has long been deprived and confused by the CEs’ “selfish” insistence that they are “fully capable” of doing the architect’s work. If CEs want to practice architecture, they must become registered/ licensed architects first. The law may be harsh but it is the law!


     The PRBoA looks forward to Your kind attention and prompt/ resolute action on this very, very urgent matter. Your understanding and assistance in Your LGU will go a very long way in helping relieve the continuing/ decades-long injustice foisted on Philippine architects, presently exacerbated by the flagrant and willful violations of RA 9266 for the nearly 3 years that it has been in full effect.


     The prompt response of Your LGU, dictated by laws in force at this time, including RA 6713 (“The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees”), is eagerly anticipated by the PRBoA, so that the PRBoA, as a key implementing entity for RA 9266, shall be properly guided in its next course/s of action.


     Thank You all very much. 


Yours sincerely,


For the PRBoA











Armando N. ALLÍ




file: 07_PRBoA-023r2


att: 1) copy of the Department of Justice (DoJ) Legal Opinion (sought by the DPWH on behalf of Civil Engineers) and issued by the Secretary of Justice in January 2004


      2) copy of Sec. 302 of PD 1096 as signed by Pres. Ferdinand Marcos in February 1977

         (as certified by the Malacañang Records Office)


      3) copy of signature page of PD 1096 as signed by Pres. Ferdinand Marcos in February

         1977 (as certified by the Malacañang Records Office)


      4) copy of Sec. 302 appearing in the published Official Gazette


      5) copy of Secs. 302.3 and 302.4 of the 2004 Revised IRR of PD 1096 of 1977.


cc  : Offices of the PRC Chairperson, Secretary and Head of the Legal Division

      United Architects of the Philippines (UAP)

UAP National President issues call of the implementation of architecture law

In attempt to make good on its pledge to safeguard the architecture profession, the United Architects of the Philippines under the leadership of its new National President, Arch. Edric Marco C. Florentino, fuap recently appealed to concerned parties for the immediate implementation of the Republic Act No. 9266, otherwise known as the Architecture Act of 2004 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.


In his inaugural address as 18th UAP National President held at the Manila Hotel, Arch. Florentino accentuated that the immediate implementation of the said law is vital to nation building since architects design not only structures but as well as building communities. Likewise, he underscored that the magnitude of RA 9266 empowers the Filipino architects to exercise their rights to practice architecture which is their domain in the first place.


He also disclosed that RA 9266 expressly bans the practice of non-registered architects and non- qualified professionals from engaging in the practice of the separate profession of architecture. “While the law preserves the right of other professionals to practice their own professions, RA 9266 reserves the right to practice architecture only for Philippine certified and licensed architects and only such architects can sign and seal architectural documents”, he stressed.


Meanwhile, he pointed out that being designated as the integrated and accredited professional organization of all architects (IAPOA) in the country, UAP is mandated to enjoin all registered and licensed architects to be members of the UAP-IAPOA. Pursuant to this, the PRC-Board of Architecture (BOA) promulgated its IRR and passed a resolution requiring the IAPOA registration for architects as a requirement for the renewal of their PRC Architect’s ID.


Philippine architects, therefore, who are not yet UAP members are called upon to register in UAP at the UAP Headquarters located at No. 53 Scout Rallos St., Diliman, Quezon City or at any of its chapters in the country. Inactive UAP members and chapters are likewise enjoined to re-activate. Bonafide members stand to have the privilege of practicing the profession besides enjoying other benefits, such as, participation in technical conferences, CPD, UAP governance, awards, information campaign, and the enjoyment of year-round fellowship.


On the other hand, Arch. Florentino informed that the Revised IRR of National Building Code which was recently passed by the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) requires that the Ancillary Architectural Permit and its architectural documents are to be signed and sealed by the architect. Further, he advised that the Executive Director of NBCDO, DPWH, circularized Building Officials and other concerned parties are mandated to require the architects who sign and seal architectural documents to submit recent PRC ID card, PTR, CTC, IAPOA Certificates, and TIN number before the processing of building permits applications.


It should be pointed out, however, that the above mandates do not affect or prevent the practice of allied professionals, such as civil engineers signing for building structural computations, electrical engineers signing for electrical computations, and so forth. While the expertise of other engineers involved in the design of buildings is needed mostly in the quantitative aspects, the practice of architecture is substantially on the conceptualization and qualitative aspects. All architects and other technical professionals are supposed to coordinate and complement one another.  

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