Architects, engineers at war over who’s signing building permits

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — Engineers and architects are at war not only in Pangasinan but in the entire country over the issue on who should affix his or her signature in building permits.

This surfaced when architects sought the help of the provincial board here on Monday over alleged patent violations of the Architecture Act of 2004 and its implementing rules and regulations as provided for in Republic Act 2966, alleging that only engineers are signing building permits.

Officers and members of the United Architects Association of the Philippines (UAP) chapter headed by their president Anne Lafortesa pointed to a provision in Republic Act 2966 that only licensed and registered architects should sign building permits.

But in many instances, engineers and not architects are signing building permits in willful violation of the law.

RA 2966 also requires the issuance of architectural permit prior to the acquisition and issuance of a building permit to ensure safety and strength of the proposed building structures and designs.

But Lafortesa said this is not being followed with only the engineers signing building permits.

Paragraph 5 of Sections 20 (Seal Issuance and Use of Seal) of RA 2966,which states: “All architectural plans, designs, specifications, drawings and architectural documents relative to the construction of a building shall bear the seal and signature only of an architect registered and licensed under RA 9266 together with his/her professional identification card number and the date of its expiration.”

The law also provides that individuals and or corporations should first secure architectural permit as a condition to the issuance of a building permit by the office of the building official.

To date, Lafortesa said, only one city and four municipalities in Pangasinan are religiously observing RA 2966. The rest of LGUs in the province are not following the law, she added.

Thus, the UAP chapter called on the Pangasinan provincial board to direct all offices of the provincial government and local government of Pangasinan to fully implement and enforce the provisions of RA 2966.

They also asked that members of the UAP chapter be made as observers in biddings being conducted by the local bids and awards committees.

Members of the UAP national board are going around the country to ask help from local legislative bodies so that LGUs will take cognizance and follow the provisions of RA 2966. Leonardo Micua/