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The Story of UAP

During the Spanish era there were no schools of Architecture in the Philippines. The first Filipino
recorded architect was Felix Roxas y Arroyo, born circa 1820 in Manila, studied in Spain and stayed
for many years in England and France. Previous to this, a Filipino could aspire to erect an
architectural structure through the help of a Maestro de Obras or master builder. The first formal
school for master builders was opened only during the last decade of the 19th century. On 14
September 1902, many of the graduates of this school joined the civil engineers and surveyors in the
country and founded the first professional organization of architects and allied professionals ~ the
Academia de Arquitectura y Aguimensura de Filipinos (AAAF). It maintained direct consultation with
the American Institute of Architects (AIA). A year after, its name was changed to Academia de
Inginieria, Arquitectura y Agrimensura de Filipinas (AIAAF). In 1904 it founded the first school of
Architecture in the Philippines, the Escuela de Ingenieria y Arquitectura, which offered five-year
courses in Architecture and Civil Engineering.
In 1911, the AIAAF was dissolved when the civil engineers withdrew to form their own professional
organization, but not before it has struggled for the passage of an Engineers and Architects Law. In
1921, the Philippine National Assembly Act No. 2985 passed, the first enabling law for the practice of
the professions of engineering and architecture, defined the unique and separate identities of the
two professions.
The profession of Architecture in the Philippines was given its first separate statute on 17 June 1950
with the enactment of Republic Act 545, "An Act to Regulate the Practice of Architecture in the
From the early 1930's to late 1950's, associations of architects were founded, but only three survived
until the early 1970's ~ the Association of Philippine Government Architects (APGA), League of
Philippine Architects (LPA), and the Philippine Institute of Architects (PIA). In June 1973, President
Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree 223, creating the Professional Regulation
Commission (PRC) regulating all professions and accrediting only one organization to represent
each profession.
The United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) was born on December 12, 1974 out of the noble
vision of unifying the three (3) existing architectural associations at that time - the Philippines
Institute of Architects (PIA), the League of Philippine Architects (LPA) and the Association of
Philippine Government Architects (APGA). Through the concerted efforts of the officers and
members of the three organizations, the vision officially materialized on March 26, 1975, where the
UAP was registered with the Philippines' Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On May 12,
1975, the UAP was granted Certificate No. 001, the first professional organization to be accredited
by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). The PRC is the central agency of the Philippine
Government charged with the licensing and regulation of professionals and the professions, as well
as the Accredited Professional Organizations (APOs).

Since its registration, UAP has received many awards, including the highly-acclaimed PRC's Most
Outstanding Accredited Professional Organization. To date, it is still the first and only APO to win the
award five times in the Award's nineteen-year history. These were in years 2002, 2007 and 2008,
2011 and 2014. The award is presented annually to recognize the achievements, services and
commitments of the APO to the profession. UAP bested forty five (45) other professional
organizations, through 12 stringent criteria set for the award.
The UAP has been instrumental in the passing of Republic Act 9266: The Architect's Law of 2004,
effective April 26, 2004. On 22 June 2004, the PRC, through its Board of Architecture, accredited the
UAP as the Integrated and Accredited Professional Organization of Architects (IAPOA). The new law
granted Filipino architects more definitive rights, benefits and distinction as against other
professionals in the construction industry
For its volunteer works, UAP was chosen in addressing housing problems, urban degradation,
environmental conservation and promotion of volunteerism for socio-economic development; the
UAP was a Regional Nominee to the "Search for Outstanding Volunteers" by the Philippine National
Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) in its celebration of National Volunteer Month last
December 2005. PNVSCA takes the lead in advocating and recognizing the contributions of
volunteers to nation-building and international cooperation.
In April 2010, in celebration of the Earth Day, the UAP, through its advocacy group "Green
Architecture Movement", was awarded the 2009 Father Neri Satur Award for Environmental Heroism
- the only accredited professional organization in the Philippines to receive such a prestigious
environmental award.
Last November 2010, the UAP has been bestowed the EAROPH 50th Golden Jubilee Award in
recognition of its substantial contribution to the advancement of Planning, Development and
Management of Human Settlements in the Philippines. The Award was given in celebration of
EAROPH's 50th Anniversary and the 2010 Congress in Adelaine, Australia.
The UAP has a roster of membership numbering more than 30,000 or 100% of the total registered
architects at the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). This number is expected to increase
with the advent of the automatic membership clause under RA 9266 and the registration of new
board passers of the recent PRC licensure examinations.
The UAP encourages all of its members, their rms, and foreign and local components to engage in
providing pro bono services as part their contributions to the highest aspirations of the architecture
profession and the organization in service to society. Through participation in whatever format they
may choose, every member of the UAP can support and further the values of the organization in
terms of its advocacy for sustainable design and practices, diversity, and elevation of the stature of
the profession of architecture in the eyes of the public.

Recently, the UAP has launched a nationwide program dubbed as "Bayanihang Arkitektura" that
encourages all members, and chapters to engage in providing pro bono services as part their
contributions to the highest aspirations of the architecture profession and the organization in service
to society. Under the program, UAP chapters including their members offer their architectural
expertise in an advisory capacity free of charge for several socio-civic projects.
The UAP has been involved in government projects such as Bayanihang Pampaaralan with the
Department of Education, the 200-bed Catarman Provincial Hospital in Northern Samar, the "Alay sa
Ginhawa at Kalusugan" program which aims to provide fully-functional community health centers
nationwide, the "Disaster Resilient Shelter Project" with several local government units, "Kapamilya
Shower Na!" a Mobile Shower Project, professional services for the design of the medium-rise
buildings for the In-City Housing Project along Estero de San Miguel in coordination with Pasig River
Rehabilitation Commission, to name a few.

International Affiliations
The UAP is a member of the following international organizations:

International Union of Architects (UIA), an international organization of 110 institutes of

architects worldwide.


Architects Regional Council for Asia (ARCASIA) , a regional organization of 17 institutes

of architects in Asia


Eastern Regional Organization for Planning and Human Settlements (EAROPH), nongovernmental multi-sectoral organization which covers all countries in Asia, Australasia and
the Pacific region.


APEC Architect Central Monitoring Council


ASEAN Architect