THIS ‘Continuing Professional Development’ (CPD) Law is burdensome. I studied for 5 years and spent time and money for board exam review. I passed and got my Civil Engineering license. Today, passing the board is not enough.

To renew my license every three years, I need to earn CPD points as mandated by Republic Act 10912 or the CPD Act took which took effect on July 1, 2017. A Senate Bill seeking to repeal the CPD law was recently filed by Senator Ralph Recto. But until it becomes a law, I just have to comply.

And so last week, I attended the North Luzon Multi-technical Conference organized and sponsored by the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) to earn CPD points. The 2-day free seminar was held at my Alma Mater, Holy Angel University, in Angeles City.

The technical presentations were just too much for me. It was information overload. I was like a rusty old car being cranked up again after 30 years.

But one thing that got my attention was the fact that our professional practice is being updated to adapt to climate change. Yes, adaptation was mentioned several times. For one, the structural design criteria such as wind speed was updated because of the recent super typhoons.

Extreme weather events such as floods and heat were also considered.

Well, that’s just the National Structural Code. The next move is to replace the antiquated National Building Code or Presidential Decree NO. 1096 to also make it responsive to present conditions. A bill was already filed in Congress for this.

The seminar is attuned with the celebration of Climate Change Consciousness Week.

This commemoration held every November 19 to 25 was started by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo through Presidential Proclamation No. 1667.

Incidentally, we also celebrate Clean Air Month and Environmental Awareness Month this November.

What’s more, environmental protection is already part of the civil engineering practice. There were presentations about Sustainable Water Resources Development and Waste-to-energy Technologies. I thought it was just about incineration, but it also tackled the harvesting of biogas and the current practice of ‘refuse derived fuel’ co-processing in cement plants.


DESIGN 101: In the design of buildings and other structures, fixed or non-moving loads such as the weight of the building itself (i.e. concrete and steel bars) is called ‘dead load’ and the weight of people and moving objects like cars are called ‘live loads’. These two loads, combined with wind and earthquake loads are factored in to determine the structural design.

After the session on structural design in our PICE Technical Conference, the open forum followed. A middle-aged, male engineer stood up and approached the microphone. He asked: “Sir, our jails are congested and since the people there do not go out and stay inside, should we consider them as ‘dead load’?” A burst of laughter from the audience erupted.

A funny break from our overly-serious and ‘nosebleeding’ technical discussion.