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House OKs boost for mechanical engineering profession

MANILA, Philippines — Voting 246-0, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading last week a 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 House Bill 9134 (An Act Strengthening the Mechanical Engineering Profession), through a modification of Republic Act 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 Martin Romualdez said.

HB 9134 upgraded the capacity of mechanical works and set of skills necessary for the projects. It also 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 development, particularly with kilowatt capacities in plants.

The person in charge should only be a “duly licensed ME (mechanical engineer) or a duly licensed professional ME.”

The board was also 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,” the measure read.

The measure’s authors are also engineers: Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio 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 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.