House OKs on final reading bill strengthening mechanical engineering profession

December 3, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 181 views

WITH an overwhelming 246 votes, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the measure that will strengthen further the industry of mechanical engineers, by amending certain provisions of the Philippine Mechanical Engineers Act of 1998.

Administration and opposition lawmakers approved in plenary session last Wednesday House Bill (HB) No. 9134 (An Act Strengthening the Mechanical Engineering Profession), through a modification of Republic Act (RA) No. 8495 (Philippine Mechanical Engineers Act of 1998).

“We need this law as we continue to build our massive infrastructure projects that will immensely benefit our countrymen. We need our engineers to build and take care of our bridges, roads, tunnels and skyways,” Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said.

HB 9134 upgraded the capacity of mechanical works and set of skills necessary for the projects.

The measure’s authors are the congressmen-engineer in the chamber, among them Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. of Pampanga, and Reps. Salvador Pleyto Sr. of Bulacan and Romeo Momo Sr. of Surigao del Sur.

Lawyers House Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe of Zamboanga City, and Reps. Migs Nograles of party-list PBA and Ron Salo of Kabayan were also listed as co-authors, along with Rep. Luis Campos of Makati City and opposition Rep. Gabriel Bordado of Camarines Sur.

HB 9134 makes it unlawful for companies to allow individuals who are not licensed professional mechanical engineers to work in projects in varying degrees or stages of the development, particularly with kilowatt capacities in plants.

The person in-charge should only be a “duly licensed ME or a duly licensed professional ME.”

“A supervising licensed professional ME in-charge of mechanical work project or plant in operation shall be allowed to supervise multiple establishments under the non-critical classification, provided that licensed MEs in charge of the same project or operation are required for each and every shift,” the bill stated.

Likewise, the Board was tasked to “provide the guidelines for the qualification and engagement of the in-charge supervising professional MEs and define the critical and non-critical classifications of the establishment.”

“Further, the Board shall, in consultation with the industry stakeholders, review and amend the categories and classification every three years when necessary,” a portion of the measure read.