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Update on the
Revised IRR of
National Building Code
Angel L. Lazaro III, Ph.D.
Chairman, Board of Civil Engineering
Professional Regulation Commission
2
Short History
The National Building Code, Presidential
Decree 1096, was approved in the 1970s
PD 1096 has not been amended
PD 1096 calls for the issuance by the
Secretary of the DPWH of Implementing
Rules and Regulations (IRR)
The current IRR is composed of DPWH
Orders issued through the years
For the past few years, the DPWH has
been preparing a consolidated revised IRR
3
Short History
The DPWH formed a Board of Consultants
(BOC) composed of various stakeholders
to prepare a draft of the Revised IRR
The BOC included representatives from
Accredited Professional Organizations,
including PICE, UAP, PSSE, etc.
After the BOC submitted their draft, the
final version of the Revised IRR was
prepared by the DPWH National Building
Code Review Committee
4
DPWH National Building Code
Review Committee
Chairman: Raul C. Asis, Civil Engineer, Assistant
Secretary
Members:
Antonio V. Molano, Jr., Civil Engineer, Director IV, Bureau of
Research and Standards
Nestor V. Agustin, Civil Engineer, Director IV, PMO-Special
Buildings
Gilberto S. Reyes, Civil Engineer, OIC, Director IV, Bureau of
Design
Walter R. Ocampo, Civil Engineer, Director III, Bureau of
Construction
Camilo G. Foronda, Lawyer, Director III, Legal Service
Emmanuel P. Cuntapay, Architect V, Bureau of Design
5
Short History
The Revised IRR contains Technical
Provisions (Types of Construction, Fire
Requirements, Classification and General
Requirements, Light and Ventilation,
Sanitation, Building Projections, etc.)
The Revised IRR also includes Administrative
Provisions (Administration and Enforcement,
Permits and Inspection, etc.)
Technical Provisions are alright, but
Administrative Provisions are problematic
6
Issues Resulting from Revised
IRR
Who is the Registered Professional
Authorized to Prepare, Sign and Seal
Building Plans (Civil Engineer or
Architect)?
Which is the Proper Body that Appoints
Building Officials (City/Municipal Mayors or
DPWH Secretary)?
7
Who is the Registered
Professional Authorized to
Prepare, Sign and Seal
Building Designs, Plans and
Specifications (Civil
Engineer or Architect)?
8
Revised IRR Violates RA 544
(The Civil Engineering Law)
Certain Administrative Provisions of the
Revised IRR violate Republic Act 544 (The
Civil Engineering Law)
Specifically, the Revised IRR violates
Sections 2 and 23 of Republic Act 544
The Revised IRR will prevent licensed Civil
Engineers from practicing Civil Engineering
9
How Does the Revised IRR prevent Civil
Engineers from Practicing Civil Engineering?
Original IRR
Section 302 of P.D. 1096 and Section 3.2 of Ministry Order 57
(Original IRR) requires the submittal to the Building Official of
five (5) sets of plans and specifications prepared, signed and
sealed by a duly licensed architect or civil engineer, in case
of architectural and structural plans.
Revised IRR
Section 302.3 of Revised IRR requires the submittal to the
Building Official of five (5) sets of plans, specifications and
documents prepared, signed and sealed over the printed name
of the duly licensed and registered professionals:
Architect, in case of architectural documents; in case of
architectural interior/interior design documents, either an architect
or interior designer may sign;
Civil Engineer, in case of civil/structural documents;
Therefore, the definitions of Architectural Documents (Section
302.4) and Civil/Structural Documents (Section 302.5) are very
important
10
Definition of Architectural Documents in the
Revised IRR (Section 302.4)
Architectural Plans/Drawings
Vicinity Map/Location Plan
Site Development Plan
Perspective
Floor Plans
Elevations
Sections
Reflected Ceiling Plan
Details, in the form of plans, elevations/sections
Schedule of Doors and Windows
Schedule of Finishes
Details of other major architectural elements
Architectural Interiors/Interior Design
Plans and Specific Locations of Accessibility Facilities
Fire Safety Documents
Other Related Documents
11
Definition of Civil/Structural
Documents in the Revised IRR
(Section 302.5)
Site Development Plan
Structural Plans
Structural Analysis and Design
Boring and Load Tests
Seismic Analysis
Other related documents
12
Revised IRR will Prevent Civil
Engineers from Preparing, Signing
and Sealing Building Plans
Revised IRR is correct in identifying the
documents listed in Section 302.4 of the Revised
IRR as Architectural Documents
Revised IRR will give the exclusive right to
Architects to prepare, sign and seal designs,
plans and specifications enumerated in Section
302.4 as Architectural Documents
13
Revised IRR will Prevent Civil
Engineers from Preparing, Signing
and Sealing Building Plans
Revised IRR will limit Civil Engineers to
preparing, signing and sealing designs, plans
and specifications enumerated in Section 302.5
as Civil Engineering/Structural Documents
Revised IRR will make it impossible to obtain
Building Permits for buildings whose designs,
plans and specifications are prepared, signed
and sealed by Civil Engineers
14
Understanding RA 544
Sections 2 and 23 of Republic Act No. 544
(The Civil Engineering Law) clearly include
the preparation, signing and sealing of
designs, plans and specifications of
buildings in the scope of practice of Civil
Engineering
15
Section 2 of RA 544 Includes Preparation,
Signing and Sealing of Building Plans and
Specifications in Scope of Civil Engineering
Section 2, RA 544 The practice of civil
engineering within the meaning and intent of this
Act shall embrace services in the form of
consultation, design, preparation of plans,
specifications, estimates, erection, installation
and supervision of construction of streets, bridges,
highways, railroads, airports and hangars,
portworks, canals, river and shore improvements,
lighthouses, and dry docks; buildings, fixed
structures for irrigation, flood protection, drainage,
water supply and sewerage works, demolition of
permanent structures, and tunnels.
16
Section 2 of RA 544 Includes Preparation, Signing
and Sealing of Building Plans and Specifications in
Scope of Civil Engineering
Civil Engineering Services
Consultation
Design
Preparation of
Plans
Preparation of
Specifications
Preparation of Estimates
Erection
Installation
Supervision of Construction
Demolition of Permanent
Structures
Civil Engineering Structures
Streets
Bridges
Highways
Railroads
Airports and Hangars
Portworks
Canals
River and Shore Improvements
Lighthouses
Drydocks
Buildings
Fixed Structures for
Irrigation
Flood Protection
Drainage
Water Supply
Sewerage Works
Tunnels
17
Section 23 of RA 544 Allows Civil Engineers
to Prepare, Sign and Seal Building
Designs, Plans and Specifications
Section 23, RA 544 It shall be unlawful for any
person to order or otherwise cause the construction,
reconstruction, or alteration of any building or
structure intended for public gathering or assembly such
as theaters, cinematographs, stadia, churches or
structures of like nature, and any other engineering
structures mentioned in section two of this Act unless
the designs, plans and specifications of the
same have been prepared under the responsible
charge of, and signed and sealed by a
registered civil engineer, and unless the
construction, reconstruction and/or alteration thereof are
executed under the responsible charge and direct
supervision of a Civil Engineer.
18
Principle of Overlap Among
Professions
Doctors, Midwives, Nurses, Dentists,
Nutritionists and Dietitians, Optometrists
Lawyers, Accountants, Criminologists, Customs
Brokers
Mechanical Engineers, Electrical Engineers,
Electronics and Communications Engineers
Architects, Interior Designers, Landscape
Architects
Civil Engineers, Architects, Sanitary Engineers,
Geodetic Engineers, Master Plumbers,
Agricultural Engineers, Environmental Planners
Many Others
19
Overlap Among Professions
(Some Examples)
The act of delivering a baby could
constitute the practice of medicine,
midwifery or nursing, depending on which
professional carries out the delivery
The act of preparing an opinion on a
question of tax law could constitute the
practice of law or accounting, depending
on which professional is the author of the
opinion or document
20
Overlap Among Professions
(Some Examples)
The act of preparing designs, plans and
specifications for the interior of a building
could constitute the practice of
architecture or interior design, depending
on which professional prepared the
documents
The act of preparing designs, plans and
specifications for a building could
constitute the practice of architecture or
civil engineering, depending on which
professional prepared the documents
21
Revised IRR Recognizes Principle of
Overlap of Professions in Case of
Architecture and Interior Design
Section 302.3 of Revised IRR requires the
submittal to the Building Official of five (5) sets
of plans, specifications and documents prepared,
signed and sealed over the printed name of the
duly licensed and registered professionals:
Architect, in case of architectural documents; in case
of architectural interior/interior design
documents, either an architect or interior
designer may sign;

22
Revised IRR Should Also Recognize
Overlap of Professions in Case of
Civil Engineering and Architecture
Invoking the principle of Overlap among
Professions, the documents enumerated in
Section 302.4 are Building Documents and not
generically Architectural Documents
The documents enumerated in Section 302.4 are
Architectural Documents only if prepared,
signed and sealed by an Architect
The documents enumerated in Section 302.4 are
Civil Engineering Documents if they are
prepared, signed and sealed by a Civil Engineer
23
Correct List of Civil Engineering Documents
Section 302.5 Civil Engineering Documents
Vicinity Map/Location Plan
Building Plans
Perspective
Floor Plans
Elevations
Sections
Reflected Ceiling Plan
Details, in the form of plans, elevations/sections
Schedule of Doors and Windows
Schedule of Finishes
Structural Plans
Site Development Plan
Structural Analysis and Design
Boring and Load Tests
Seismic Analysis
Other related documents
24
Preparation, Signing and Sealing of Building
Plans are Part and Have Always been Part of
the Practice of Civil Engineering
Civil Engineers have been preparing, signing and
sealing building plans not only for the past 50
years (RA 544) but for thousands of years even
before the professions or Architecture and Civil
Engineering were regulated
The preparation, signing and sealing of building
plans are part of the practice of Civil Engineering
by law, history and tradition
This right of Civil Engineers to prepare, sign and
seal building plans has never been legally
challenged, up to the present
25
Preparation, Signing and Sealing of Building
Plans are Part and Have Always been Part of
the Practice of Civil Engineering
The purpose of regulatory laws is to protect the
public and not any particular profession
There has never been any case filed or legal
judgment rendered that this practice of Civil
Engineers has had any adverse effect to any
person or has been harmful to public welfare
The only parties affected by this practice are
Architects who are forced to compete with Civil
Engineers in the open market
26
Injunction was Needed
P.D. 1096 provides that Implementing Rules and
Regulations shall be formulated by the DPWH
Secretary
Then DPWH Secretary Soriquez, a Civil Engineer,
has signed the revised IRR
P.D. 1096 provides that the IRR shall take effect
15 days after their publication once a week for
three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of
general circulation
The Revised IRR was published in the Manila
Standard on April 1, 8 and 15, 2005
27
Injunction was Needed
Without an injunction, the IRR would have been
in effect on April 30, 2005
During the last week of April, 2005, the PICE
and the PSSE requested the DPWH Secretary to
defer the implementation of the Revised IRR, to
avoid a legal confrontation
In reply, DPWH informed the PICE and PSSE
that the Secretary does not have the authority
to defer implementation of the Revised IRR
In fact, during that meeting, the PICE and PSSE
were advised to file for an injunction
Therefore, PICE and PSSE had no choice but to
file for an injunction
28
PICE has obtained Preliminary
Injunction from Manila RTC
PICE obtained 72 hour Temporary Restraining
Order (TRO) against implementation of Revised IRR
during the first week of May, 2005
PICE obtained 20-day TRO during the second week
of May, 2005
PICE obtained Preliminary Injunction May 24, 2005
The Preliminary Injunction has no expiry date
which means that implementation of the Revised
IRR is suspended until the issues raised by PICE
are resolved
PSSE also obtained its own Preliminary Injunction
29
Preliminary Injunction Recognizes Issue
Raised by PICE
Dispositive paragraph of the Preliminary Injunction:
Both the petitioner and respondent are one that one cannot be
deprived of the right to work and the right to make a
living because these rights are property rights. It is not
disputed that prior to the issuance of the questioned IRR,
petitioners, as civil engineers, were exercising the subject rights
pursuant to R.A. 544 and P.D. 1096 as well as Ministry Order 57
which the subject IRR would now remove from them. It is a
legal truism that the spring cannot rise higher than its
source. At this stage of the proceedings, it would
appear that the new IRR goes beyond the laws it seeks
to implement. Wherefore, the application is granted, and a
writ of preliminary injunction issue, enjoining the herein
defendant, his agents, representatives and/or assigns from
implementing and carrying out the questioned provisions of the
subject.
30
Implementing the National Building Code
The Preliminary Injunction obtained by the PICE
covers the sections involving the preparation,
signing and sealing of Building/Architectural
Plans.
Therefore, Building Officials have to accept
Building/Architectural Plans prepared, signed
and sealed by either an Architect or Civil
Engineer, as provided in the Original IRR:
Section 302 of P.D. 1096 and Section 3.2 of Ministry
Order 57 (Original IRR) requires the submittal to the
Building Official of five (5) sets of plans and
specifications prepared, signed and sealed by a duly
licensed architect or civil engineer, in case of
architectural and structural plans.
31
Implementing the National Building Code
Sections of the National Building Code not
affected by the PICE and PSSE Injunctions are
implementable
Section 201 of the Revised IRR vests the
administration and enforcement of the National
Building Code in the DPWH Secretary
Section 203(6) of the Revised IRR empowers the
DPWH Secretary to appoint Building Officials
If a Civil Engineer cannot prepare, sign and seal
Building Plans, he is technically less qualified to
be a Building Official than an Architect
Section 202 of the Revised IRR names the
National Building Code Development Office
(NCBDO) as the technical staff of the DPWH
Secretary
32
Implementing the National Building
Code
The DPWH Secretary has appointed an architect
(Emmanuel Cuntapay) as Executive Director of
the NCBDO
The Executive Director of the NCBDO screens
and recommends prospective Building Officials
to the DPWH Secretary
Architect Cuntapay is on record as favoring the
appointment of Architects as Building Officials
Architect Cuntapay is on record that the
preparation, signing and sealing of Building/
Architectural Plans is exclusive to Architects
33
DPWH Answer to Preliminary
Injunction
DPWH, through the Solicitor General, submitted
its answer on June 17, 2005
DPWH states that Sections 2 and 23 of RA 544
do not state in clear and unequivocal terms that
civil engineers can prepare, sign and seal
architectural documents
DPWH states that it is only under Section 302 of
PD 1096 and Section 3.2 of Ministry Order 57
that the right of civil engineers to prepare, sign
and seal architectural plans was recognized and
expressly granted
34
DPWH Answer to Preliminary
Injunction
DPWH states that Section 302 of PD 1096 and
Section 3.2 of Ministry Order 57 have been
repealed by Sections 20, 25 and 29 of RA
9266, the Architecture Act of 2004
DPWH states that even if Sections 2 and 23 of
RA 544 include the preparation of architectural
documents, said provisions have likewise been
repealed by RA 9266
35
DPWH Answer to Preliminary
Injunction
DPWH states that RA 9266 was approved on
March 17, 2004 while RA 544, PD 1096 and
Ministry Order 57 were approved in 1950, 1977
and 1978, respectively
DPWH argues that in case of irreconcilable
conflict between two laws, the later enactment
must prevail
DPWH argues that RA 9266 has repealed the
other laws as evidenced by Section 46 of RA
9266
36
DPWH Answer to Preliminary
Injunction
DPWH states that PD 1096 is a general law as it
deals with the practice of various professions,
while RA 9266 is a special law because it deals
exclusively with the practice of architecture
DPWH argues that it is a finely-imbedded
principle that a special provision of law prevails
over a general one
DPWH argues that the Revised IRR did not
amend nor supplant the laws promulgated by
the legislature
37
DPWH Answer to Preliminary
Injunction
DPWH states that the Revised IRR is consistent
and in harmony with the pertinent provisions of
RA 9266
DPWH argues that it is erroneous to claim that
the Revised IRR is null and void because it gives
architects the exclusive right to prepare, sign
and seal architectural documents
DPWH argues that it is the legislature by virtue
of RA 9266 which gives duly licensed architects
the exclusive right to prepare, sign and seal
architectural documents
38
DWPH Answer Relies on RA 9266
Sections 20, 25 and 29 of RA 9266 has repealed
Section 302 of PD 1096 and Section 3.2 of
Ministry Order 57
RA 9266 has repealed Sections 2 and 23 of RA
544
Revised IRR is consistent and in harmony with
the pertinent provisions of RA 9266
RA 9266 gives duly licensed architects the
exclusive right to prepare, sign and seal
architectural documents
39
Understanding RA 9266
Section 20. Seal, Issuance and Use of Seal. A
duly licensed architect shall affix the seal
prescribed by the Board bearing the registrants
name, registration number and the title
Architect on all architectural plans,
drawings, specifications and all other
contract documents prepared by or under his/her
direct supervision.
40
Understanding RA 9266
Section 20(2) No officer or employee of this
Republic, chartered cities, provinces and
municipalities, now or hereafter charged with
the enforcement of laws, ordinances or regulations
relating to the construction or alteration of
buildings, shall accept or approve any
architectural plans or specifications which
have not been prepared and submitted in
full accord with all the provisions of this Act;
nor shall any payments be approved by any officer
for any work, the plans and specifications for
which have not been so prepared and signed and
sealed by the author
41
Understanding RA 9266
Section 20(5) All architectural plans,
designs, drawings and architectural
documents relative to the construction of a
building shall bear the seal and signature
only of an architect registered and licensed
under this Act together with his/her professional
identification number and the date of its
expiration
42
Understanding RA 9266
Section 25 No person shall practice
architecture in this country, or engage in
preparing architectural plans, specifications
or preliminary data for the erection or
alteration of any building located within the
boundaries of this country, or use the title
Architect, or display the word Architect
together with another word, or use any title, sign,
card, advertisement, or other devise to indicate
such person practices or offers to practice
architecture, or is an architect, unless such
person shall have received from the Board a
Certificate of Registration and be issued a
Professional Identification Card.
43
Understanding RA 9266
Section 29 Prohibition in the Practice of
Architecture and Penal Clause. Any person
who shall practice or offer to practice
architecture in the Philippines without being
registered/ licensed and who are not holders
of temporary or special permits in accordance
with the provisions of this Act shall be guilty
of misdemeanor and charged in court by the
Commission
44
Why DPWH Answer is Wrong
The DPWH presumes that the PICE case is
that civil engineers can prepare, sign and
seal Architectural Plans and Documents
The PICE case is: Civil Engineers
should not be prevented from
practicing Civil Engineering which
includes preparing, signing and
sealing Building Plans and
Documents
45
Why DPWH Answer is Wrong
That RA 9266 has repealed PD 1096 and
Ministry Order No. 57 is debatable
because of the legal principle that one law
does not repeal another if there is a way
of reconciling the laws concerned
Invoking the principle of Overlap of
Professions will reconcile the laws
Even if PD 1096 has been repealed, this is
immaterial because it is RA 544 (not PD
1096) that gives Civil Engineers the right
to prepare Building Plans
46
Why DPWH Position is Wrong
RA 9266 has not repealed Sections 2 and
23 of RA 544 because these sections do
not state that civil engineers can prepare,
sign and seal Architectural Plans
Sections 2 and 23 of RA 544 state that
civil engineers can prepare, sign and seal
Building Plans, not Architectural Plans
Therefore, there is no inconsistency with
RA 9266 and there is nothing to repeal
47
Why DPWH Answer is Wrong
Sections 2 and 23 of RA 544 clearly states
that the preparation, signing and sealing
of Building Plans are within the scope of
practice of civil engineering
Therefore, the PICE case hinges on the
proper interpretation of the term Building
Plans
The term Building Plans occur in both RA
544 and RA 544 (the old Architecture Law)
Therefore, prior to RA 9266 the term
Building Plans in RA 545 included all
plans of buildings
48
Why DPWH Answer is Wrong
Architects claim that the term Building
Plans in RA 544 means Structural Plans
Why will the term Building Plans mean all
plans of buildings when applied to
Architecture and something else when
applied to Civil Engineering
If Building Plans mean Structural Plans,
why is that not what is stated?
Why have civil engineers have been
preparing, signing and sealing complete
Building Plans for thousands of years,
without any legal challenge?
49
Why DPWH Answer is Wrong
The DPWH answer is totally dependent on
the premise that RA 9266 is the law
relevant to this case
This will only be true if the case is about
the practice of architecture
The PICE position it that this case is about
the practice of civil engineering and
not the practice of architecture
Therefore, RA 9266 is not relevant, and
the applicable law is RA 544
50
RA 9266 Cannot Justify the Revised IRR
Section 43, RA 9266 This Act shall not be
construed to affect or prevent the practice of
any other legally recognized profession.
RA 9266 does not affect the scope of practice of Civil
Engineering
Section 46 of RA 9266 - Republic Act No. 545, as
amended by Republic Act No. 1581, is hereby
repealed and all other laws, orders and regulations
or resolutions or part/s thereof inconsistent with
the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or
modified accordingly
No provision of RA 544 is inconsistent with RA 9266,
because RA 544 does not authorize civil engineers to
prepare, sign and seal architectural plans and
documents, and therefore there is nothing to repeal
51
DPWH Answer to Preliminary
Injunction (Part 2)
DPWH acknowledges that the direct
consequence of the revised IRR is to
deprive more than a hundred
thousand civil engineers of their right
to earn a living which has been
vested upon them for more than fifty
years now
DPWH cites the principle of dura lex sed
lex (The law is harsh but the law is still
the law)
52
DPWH Answer to Preliminary
Injunction (Part 2)
DPWH states that laws are adopted to make
sure that the plans specifications and other
documents to be submitted for the issuance of a
building permit are prepared, signed and sealed
by competent professionals who possess
the required skills, knowledge and
expertise on the matter to safeguard life,
health, property and public welfare
53
Architects Do Not have the Exclusive Right
to Prepare, Sign and Seal Building Plans
Civil Engineers have prepared, signed and sealed
building plans for thousands of years, with
distinction
There has never been a legal challenge, much less
a decision, questioning this right of civil engineers
There has never been a single case, much less a
decision, that civil engineers are a threat to life,
health, property or public welfare
It is an insult to the civil engineering profession to
question the competence of civil engineers to
prepare, sign and seal building plans
It is an insult to the civil engineering profession to
accuse civil engineers of being threats to life,
health, property or public welfare
54
What Civil Engineers Must Do
Follow the following Guidelines in the
preparation, signing and sealing of
Building Plans:
Label all building plans, specifications and
other documents Civil Engineering before
signing and sealing them
Place only the title Civil Engineer (and
nothing else) under your name and signature
when signing plans, specifications and other
documents
55
What Civil Engineers Must Do
Continue preparing, signing and sealing
Civil Engineering (Building) plans
Never sign and seal architectural plans
Always sign as a Civil Engineer
Inform fellow Civil Engineers of PICE
position on revised IRR
Inform as many individuals and sectors of
PICE position
56
What Civil Engineers Must Do
Lobby with Local Government Officials,
National Agencies and other Government
Entities for the implementation of RA 544
Lobby with DPWH for the appointment of
a Civil Engineer as Executive Director of
the NBCDO
Monitor violations against the Preliminary
Injunction
Take appropriate action against such
violations
Inform PICE of such violations
57
Conclusion
The right of Architects to prepare, sign and
seal Architectural Plans, as provided for in
RA 9266, should be recognized and respected
The right of Civil Engineers to prepare, sign
and seal Building Plans, as provided for in
RA 544, should be recognized and respected
The Preliminary Injunction obtained by the
PICE should be respected and implementation
of Section 302 of the Revised IRR suspended
58
Which is the Proper Body
that Appoints Building
Officials (City/Municipal
Mayors or DPWH
Secretary)?
59
Powers and Functions of the
DPWH Secretary
Section 203 of PD 1096 provides:

1. Formulate policies, plans, standards and guidelines on building
design, construction, use, occupancy and maintenance, in
accordance with this Code.
2. Issue and promulgate rules and regulations to implement the
provisions of this Code and ensure compliance with policies,
plans, standards and guidelines formulated under paragraph 1
of this section.
3. Evaluate, review, approve and/or take final action on changes
and/or amendments to existing Referral Codes as well as on
the incorporation of other referral codes which are not yet
expressly made part of this Code.
4. Prescribe and fix the amount of fees and other charges that
the Building Official shall collect in connection with the
performance of regulatory functions.
60
Powers and Functions of the
DPWH Secretary
The power to appoint Building Officials is not
included in the generic powers of the DPWH
Secretary.
Section 205 of PD 1096 indirectly addresses this
issue and provides:
Due to the exigencies of the service, the Secretary may
designate incumbent Public Works District Engineers, City
Engineers and Municipal Engineers to act as Building
Officials in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
The designation made by the Secretary under this
Section shall continue until regular positions of Building
Official are provided or unless sooner terminated for
causes provided by law or decree.
61
Powers and Functions of the
DPWH Secretary
The DPWH Secretary does not have the power
to appoint Building Officials, and only has the
power to designate (the Secretary may
designate).
The DPWH Secretary can designate a Building
Official only when there is an exigency in the
service (Due to exigencies in the service).
Therefore, the DPWH Secretary cannot
designate a Building Official in case where a duly
appointed official is already acting as Building
Official because in this case there is no
Exigency in the service.
62
Powers and Functions of the
DPWH Secretary
The DPWH Secretary may designate only certain
incumbent officials as Building Officials (the
Secretary may designate Public Works District
Engineers, City Engineers and Municipal
Engineers to act as Building Officials in their
respective areas of jurisdiction).
All of the incumbent officials enumerated in PD
1096 are required by law to be Registered and
Licensed Civil Engineers, and therefore the
DPWH Secretary may not designate a Building
Official who is not a Civil Engineer
63
Powers and Functions of the
DPWH Secretary
The designation by the DPWH Secretary has a
limited duration (The designation made by the
Secretary shall continue until regular positions of
Building Official are provided or unless
terminated for causes provided by law or
decree).
Therefore, in cases where a Building Official has
been designated by the DPWH Secretary, such
designation shall cease when a regular position
of Building Official is provided.
64
Powers and Functions of the
DPWH Secretary
Section 206 of Revised IRR Increased the
Powers and Functions of the DPWH Secretary
from Four to Six:
1. Formulate policies, plans, standards and guidelines on building design, construction, use,
occupancy and maintenance, in accordance with this Code.
2. Issue and promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Code and
ensure compliance with policies, plans, standards and guidelines formulated under
paragraph 1 of this section.
3. Exercise appellate jurisdiction over the decisions and
orders of the Building Official. The order or decision of
the Secretary shall be final and executory subject only
to review by the Office of the President of the
Republic.
4. Evaluate, review, approve and/or take final action on changes and/or amendments to
existing Referral Codes as well as on the incorporation of other referral codes which are
not yet expressly made part of this Code.
5. Prescribe and fix the amount of fees and other charges that the Building Official shall
collect in connection with the performance of regulatory functions.
6. Appoint a Building Official, separate and distinct from
the Office of the City/Municipal Engineers in all Cities
and Municipalities.
65
Powers and Functions of the
DPWH Secretary
Section 203(6) directly contradicts the provisions
of PD 1096, wherein the DPWH Secretarys
powers do not include the appointment of
Building Officials but is limited only to the
designation of Building Officials, and only under
certain conditions.
The IRR cannot contain provisions not provided
for in the law it is implementing, and this is
therefore a case of the spring rising above its
source.
66
Powers and Functions of the
City/Municipal Mayor
Section 444(b)(1)(v) of RA 7160 (Local
Government Code of 1991) provides:
The Municipal Mayor shall exercise general
supervision and control over all programs, projects,
services, and activities of the municipal government
and in this connection shall appoint all officials and
employees whose salaries and wages are wholly or
mainly paid out of municipal funds and whose
appointments are not otherwise provided for in this
Code, as well as those he may be authorized by law
to appoint.
Section 455(b)(1)(v) of RA 7160 contains a
similar provision applicable to Cities.
67
Powers and Functions of the
City/Municipal Mayor
Section 477 of RA 7160 further provides:
No person shall be appointed engineer unless he is
a citizen of the Philippines, a resident of the local
government unit concerned, of good moral character,
and a licensed civil engineer. He must have acquired
experience in the practice of his profession for at
least five (5) years in the case of the provincial or city
engineer, and three (3) years in the case of the
municipal engineer.
The appointment of an engineer shall be mandatory
for the provincial, city and municipal governments.
The city and municipal engineer shall also act as
the local building official.
68
Powers and Functions of the
City/Municipal Mayor
Provincial, City and Municipal engineers have to
be licensed Civil Engineers.
Power of City or Municipal Mayor to appoint
City/Municipal Engineers is clear and specific.
That City/Municipal Engineers shall act as
Building Officials is clear and specific.
What needs to be clarified is whether this
provision has the effect of providing regular
positions of Building Officials as envisioned in
Section 205 of PD 1096.
69
Summary
PD 1096 contains no provision giving the DPWH
Secretary the power to appoint Building Officials.
The DPWH Secretary only has the power to
designate Building Officials.
The designation of Building Officials by the
DPWH Secretary is conditional and has a limited
duration.
RA 7160 gives City/Municipal Mayors the power
to appoint City/Municipal Engineers who shall
act as Building Officials.
70
Summary
If Section 477 of RA 7160 has the effect of
providing regular positions of Building Officials,
then the DPWH Secretary does not have the
power to designate Building Officials in
Cities/Municipalities with duly appointed
City/Municipal Engineers.
In any case, the DPWH Secretary does not have
the power to designate a Building Official in
cities/municipalities with duly appointed
City/Municipal Engineers because there is no
Exigency in the service.