January 28, 2012
ANGARA: REGIONAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION REQUIRES MORE GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE, INTERDISCIPLINARY ENGINEERS
Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged Filipino engineers to prepare for increased competition in engineering services that is expected to come with the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.
In his keynote address at the 2nd Engineering Summit organized by the Philippine Technological Council (PTC) and the ASEAN Academy of Engineering and Technology (AAET), Angara said Filipino engineers must continually boost their expertise amid an increasingly global and interdisciplinary environment.
"Filipino engineers are already recognized for their talent, skill, friendliness and ability to work within different cultures," said Angara, citing 2010 data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showing that roughly 40 percent of newly deployed OFW's categorized as "Professional, Technical and Related Workers" were either engineering technicians or full-fledged engineers.
However, Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, cited a 2010 study from the Philippine Services Coalition (PSC) showing that only 20 percent of engineering graduates in the Philippines held credentials which met international standards.
"The reality is many of our engineers still face difficulty in qualifying for international registers such as the APEC Register and the International Professional Engineers' Register because our basic education system still falls short of international standards," said Angara, who is also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).
"This is why I laud the Department of Education's efforts to start transitioning toward the K-to-12 program beginning SY 2012-2013, so that the Philippines will no longer be the only remaining ASEAN nation whose basic education system crams into 10 years curricula normally taken up in 12 years," he remarked.
The veteran further explained that the K-to-12 program will start aligning the Philippine educational system with international norms such as the Washington Accord for engineering professionals and the Bologna Accord for European industries.
"But this reform is only the beginning," emphasized Angara. "The advent of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 comes with its share of emerging challenges and opportunities in the field of engineering. Government, the academe and even the private sector will need to act with great synergy and alacrity if our engineers and our country are to competitively participate in regional integration."
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