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Friday, February 18, 2005

RAFI: Touching people, shaping the future

by Maria Eleanor Elape Valeros
January 17, 2005 posted at www.thefreeman.com

The selection process for the 3rd Triennial Awards initiated by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. to honor outstanding institutions and exemplary individuals in the Visayas and Mindanao will begin after schedule for nomination closed last Friday.

The awards will be given in two categories: The Ramon Aboitiz Award for Exemplary Individual and The Eduardo Aboitiz Award for Outstanding Institution, both in the field of social development.

These awards were established to give recognition and encourage individuals and institutions who, through their efforts in bringing about hope and change for the better in the lives of the less-privileged, greatly reflect the philanthropic, humanitarian, and holistic ideals of Don Ramon and Eduardo Aboitiz.

It is with the hope that the winners of the Triennial Awards would inspire more individuals to exhibit leadership in responsible development advocacy and serve as catalysts of change; and also to develop strong partnership with government organizations, non-government organizations, civic and peoples organizations in bringing about desired, holistic societal change; and establish self-reliant communities whose values are responsive to the well-being of their members through the process of participation, capacity and institutional building, people empowerment and gender equity.

Through the efforts of RAFI, more and more individuals will dip their fingers in people-centered development as the foundation encourages the dynamic interplay between government, business, and civil society in the process of social development using the strategies of community organizing, coalition building, networking and linkages, capability building, and advocacy work.

ADDY BUDDY. “Hi! I am Archt. Loloy Castro, UAP, from Mandaue City. I read your article “Why hire an architect?” on THE FREEMAN, and I just can’t stop myself from sharing a few reactions. Hope you don’t mind. Point # 1. The Architecture profession is indeed demoralized in some ways. But before we blame anybody for anything, there are some things I noticed around with my colleagues. I had a chance to bid for a design project with a professional fee of 40+K, only to find out later that it was already awarded to another architect whose fee was 8K flat. Man, talk about professional practice and code of ethics! For sure, I can’t blame that guy if he needed money. But let’s face it, we were talking of an 8-bedroom ancestral home. I never knew how he came up with plans, blueprints, engineering fees, etc for 8K. And here’s the kicker: the house was to be built in Alcoy - some hundred kilometers away from where he lived. Again, talk about traveling expenses, etc.

2. A lot of architects are going into construction, which is a deadly word for our code of ethics. I once saw an ad on a national broadsheet in 2002 of a contractor advertising his firm. Below his name was the line “FREE DESIGN”. Terrible bulls**t, and he is an architect.

3. Young architects (like me, in my mid 20’s; I work on my own) work in larger offices, mainly for experience, and the small amount of monthly income they receive, just to break even with daily expenses. A starting architect receives a net monthly salary of P6K, while doing all the works (design, CAD, models, presentations, etc) and the big fish gets all the credit. Some friends I know burn 9 hours a day at work, and spend another 9 working on sidelines just to keep things going. Again, they blame it on the economy. While some young ones become sales agents for building supplies and materials, others go to Saudi and Dubai for something bigger. And some resort to networking herbals and vitamins. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with it. I guess it’s just all about the experience, and the thrill of the journey. But aren’t we supposed to be promoting this profession? And that involves veterans boosting the morale of new architects. I have an apprentice that I pay for P250 a day, + SSS and Philhealth, and overtime fee. I don’t have many projects, but we made a vow and took an oath to uphold this profession and be responsible mentors to our neophytes.

4. I am proud to be a graduate of a good university, and I should say, I’ve had a great deal of training under my mentors. What bothers me is the term “professional practice”. Some schools I know devote more units on drafting and drawing courses, than professional practice and ethics. In some points, the architecture profession being demoralized starts at the root of the academics. No wonder you have 8K architects, or those promoting “free services”. I believe that architects should help each other first and not play blind about our own professional issues. There is more to this profession than charging the right fees, getting hired and recognized, etc. I am truly inspired by the moves of the UAP to promote the profession, and I’m also happy that finally, the society is beginning to sink in. Thanks too for your article, it’s giving us more confidence this time. Peace! – Panfilo “Loloy” Castro, Jr. .

For your comments, reactions, suggestions, and contributions crank up my addy: pinay_mangatkatay@yahoo.com.

7/21/2006 07:08:00 PM | Anonymous DHLLyNcryW said....   

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