The House of Representatives has adopted a resolution urging the Commission on Higher Education to conduct the mandatory review of the Civil Engineering curriculum to integrate relevant academic subjects on earthquake design safety which will help ensure the structural integrity of Philippine building and civil works.
In House Resolution 1767 authored by Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Ann Hofer, chairperson of the committee on higher and technical education, the resolution also directed the House committee on higher and technical education to conduct an inquiry into the appropriateness and relevance of the Civil Engineering curriculum in offering a long-term response to the threats of earthquake and seismic magnitudes greater than intensity 7 on the Richter scale.
The resolution acknowledged the spate of recent strong earthquakes that hit many parts of the world in series, which include Haiti, New Zealand, Japan and areas within the Pacific Ring of fire, raising the fear of a looming earthquake far beyond intensity 7.
The current factor of safety for building designs is pegged to withstand a 7.2 magnitude only.
The resolution states that relevant engineering interventions should now be put in place to ensure the structural integrity of existing structures to enable them to withstand strong earthquakes.
The strict compliance and integration of the National Structural Code of the Philippines 2010, and the National Building Code of the Philippines in the Civil Engineering curriculum should be enforced, the resolution said.
Hofer said the Philippine Regulatory Commission should include Earthquake Engineering Design as a topic in the Civil Engineering Licensure Examination.
She said the preferential importance should be given to the integration of earthquake engineering design in the Civil Engineering curriculum as a major course and not merely as an elective.
“The aptitude of Civil Engineering graduates in earthquake engineering design must be duly measured through the licensure examination conducted for engineering professionals by the PRC to ensure that the quality of Filipino Civil Engineers and the integrity of the buildings and structures they design and build are beyond reproach,” Hofer said in her resolution.