THERE are endless opportunities for Filipino architects to do business in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) especially under this new normal business environment.
Daryl Balmoria-Garcia, a member of the United Architects Association of the Philippines (UAP) Committee, said now is the time for Filipino architects to expand their horizon and showcase their talent and architectural expertise in the Asean bloc.
“The goal now of the Asean Architects Committee is to encourage more qualified architects to register and be counted to the Asean Architects Registry,” said Garcia, who owns Dream Architects.
Garcia said Filipino architects might as well grab this opportunity as the Asean integration is already in full implementation.
“If we don’t go out there, the rest of the Asean can already come to the Philippines,” she said.
Out of over 50,000 registered Filipino architects, only 130 are currently included in the Asean registry.
The Asean Mutual Recognition Arrangement enables the qualifications of professional services suppliers to be mutually recognized by signatory member states, facilitating easier flow of professional services in the Asean region.
Working in the Asean adds value to one’s professional career when working and practicing one’s architectural expertise in the Asean member states.
Filipino architects will also have the opportunity to become a business partner with an Asean architect.
“The potential is endless. With online transactions and meetings becoming the new normal now, they can cross border practice. They can collaborate with any Asean countries. Knowledge transfer is possible,” said Garcia.
Last month, the UAP Asean Special Committee held a webinar on the step by step guide on how to become an Asean architect.
One of the requirements is the 10 to 15 years of extensive architectural experience with at least 4,000 square meters per project.
“The application process is also very tedious and extensive. Preparation of documentation, certificates, project portfolio and the screening process is daunting,” said Garcia.
But she added that these are the standards set by the MRA that were agreed by the 10 Asean member states. And once qualified, the opportunities working in the Asean are limitless.
“You will be put out there in the Asean to represent your country. Also we want to have competent representatives,” said Garcia.
Garcia is one of the youngest architects to have been given a certification to practice in the Asean region and in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. Her firm is currently negotiating works in these regions. (KOC)