Retainership Agreement with Professional Service

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					The Philippine Association of Building Administrators, Inc. (PABA)
Condominium Management Association of the Philippines, Inc. (CMAP)
Brief Position Paper on Republic Act No. 8495 (Philippine Mechanical
Engineering Act of 1998, the need for implementing Rules and
Regulations     and    possibility   of    exempting     buildings     and/or
condominium buildings and similar entities from its coverage and other
prayers:




BACKGROUND INFORMATION:


      Republic Act No. 8495 was enacted in 1998 and referred to as the
Philippine Mechanical Engineering Act.    The Statement of Policy states the
Government recognition of the importance of mechanical engineers in nation
building and development and the promotion of sustainable human development
among others. According to the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers, an
accredited national organization, the new legislation bring a “wealth of new
opportunities for the advancement of the mechanical engineering profession and
the professionals” and serve as a catalyst in upgrading the mechanical
engineering profession to cope with its role in nation building”. PSME further
slated that the new law strengthens the licensing and regulation of the new
mechanical engineering practice with the inclusion of renewable sources of
energies and mobile mechanical driven equipment.


      According to the Act the practice of Mechanical Engineering includes
consultation, valuation, investigation and management services requiring
mechanical engineering knowledge; estimates for mechanical equipments,
machinery or processes of any mechanical works, project or plants; management
of mechanical equipment their supervision, operation or maintenance.
      The law also defined mechanical equipment or machinery and includes (as
common in any existing building) pumps, hoist, elevators, escalators, walkways,
air-conditioning, compressor’s; etc.). It is an encompassing definition.


      The law states that for the practice of mechanical engineering there are 3
categories and in the order of rank 1: Professional Mechanical Engineer (PME) 2
Mechanical Engineer (ME) and 3, Certified Plant Mechanic (CPM). Each of these
categories are given certificates of Registration.   For a Professional ME mere
submission of his experience is sufficient while that of an ME and a CPM passing
written examination is a requirement.


      In appreciating this law, it is very clear that the rationale and objective of
RA 8495 is the promotion of the mechanical engineering profession and its
elevation to the level of competency and standard of professional practice.


SECTION 36


      Section 36 of the Law requires that every mechanical work, project or
plant in operation shall have a complement of resident licensed professional
mechanical, (PME) mechanical engineer (ME) or certified plant mechanic (CPM)


   a) 100 KW not over 300KW
          -   One certified plant mechanic or
          -   One mechanical engineer or
          -   One professional mechanical engineer
          Provided that every mechanical engineer         work, project or plant
      operating more than ONE SHIFT every 24 hours shall have additional of
      above personnel for each and every additional shift.
   b) 300 KW not over 2,000 KW – same personnel except a certified plant
      mechanic (CPM). If more than one shift every 24 hours additional one ME
      or one PME.


   c) Over 2000 KW – one PME, additional PME if operation in more than one
      shift every 24 hours,


UNDER SECTION 40 OF THE LAW


      The Professional Regulation Commission is the enforcement agency of the
Board of Mechanical Engineering; implement the concerned provisions of the law
and implement rules and regulations it adopted; conduct investigation of
complaints including violations by the members of the law and prosecution, if
warranted


      It confers on all duly constituted authorities through the officers of the law
of the national provincial or municipal government to enforce the provisions of
the act and prosecute violators.


      The penalty is administrative sanctions and upon conviction a fine not less
than 50 thousand or more than 200 thousand or imprisonment not less than 6
months nor more than 6 years.


OBSERVATIONS


      From its effectivity to 2009, eleven years passed.        They said serious
implementation of the law will be enforced. It was observed that during the
interim period partial compliance was made thru certifications issued by the Local
Government Officers. Except perhaps for malls, shopping areas, manufacturing
plants and big enterprises compliance with the provisions of the act by owners of
other entities were not made. The law and its provisions were not complied of
by most apartment buildings, stand-alone buildings, for residences or for offices
or commercial or combinations; subdivisions, housing complexes and more
importantly condominiums.


      There was no information disseminated on the implementing rules and
regulations and most building administrators were just advised to comply with
the law and “complain” later.


THE ENFORCEMENT


      In    the   latest   communication,   sent   to   building   owners,   building
administrators and other entities owning structures with mechanical contrivances
it was clearly stated that elevator permits mechanical permits, clearances, and
others will not be issued by the building permits division until and unless
compliance with the law by applicants are complied. The compliance include
accomplishment of:


1.         BME Form No. 5 (Revised in 1992) indicating list of the mechanical
equipment and corresponding rating and number of units and other information
required by the law. (This is to be signed by the PME/RME/ or CPM).


2.         Notarized certification indication the name/names of the resident
Professional Mechanical Engineer (PME) Registered Mechanical Engineer (RME)
or Certified Plant Mechanic (CPE) in charge of the operation and maintenance of
the installed mechanical equipment and machineries.


3.         Professional license number of the PME/RME/or CPM engaged.
4.          Section 34 of the law defining mechanical work project or plant in
operation should be made clearer for the purpose of exempting some entities or
structures which are not mechanical work project or plant in operation.     For
example a building whether for commercial, office or residential or combination
is not per se the subject envisioned by law because it is not a mechanical work
project or plant in operation. While the usual equipment or machinery in a
building which are appurtenance, for example, elevators and qualify under
Section b) of Section 3 of the Act the need for a professional mechanical
engineer or a mechanical engineer is believed not necessary because of the
maintenance agreement usually entered into between the building management
and elevator supplier/service outfit.


       In the enumeration of the prime movers in Section b) of Section 3 of the
Act it cited steam engines and turbines, internal combustion engines, steam
generators which include boiler, furnaces, heat exchanger such as cooling
towers, kilns, dryers, etc.   These are machineries not present nor used in a
building.


       The most common equipment in a building are the ELEVATOR,
AIRCONDITIONING, WATER and SUMPS PUMPS.                These are facilities in a
building.    The elevator is maintained and ocularly inspected by the elevator
supplier under a maintenance contract; central airconditioning system likewise
operate and monitored under a maintenance contract too, to minimize power
cost and maintenance expenses while water and sump pumps operates
efficiently for long periods without need of regular monthly check-up.


       These are facts circumstances supporting possible exemptions from
coverage of the act.
5.     It is believed that the Act shall be complied with those works, projects or
plants enumerated in Subsection c) of Section 3 of the Act but those entities like
buildings, apartments, stand-up structures operated without the high profile
gadgets and machineries should not be required to comply with Section 34 of
the Act because it is believed there is no need for a Certified Plant Mechanic
(CPM) or Mechanical Engineer (ME) or Professional Mechanical Engineer (PME) to
be present in its operations.


6.     The availment of the members of this profession will result in additional
budgetary expense for buildings especially condominiums which are non-stock,
non-profit corporations.


7.     It is also believed that there is not enough personalities in the profession
to suit for the number of apartments, residences in buildings, condominiums,
subdivisions, etc.


8.     The statement that there will be no issuance of permits by the local
authorities until compliance with the Act is made (or sufficiently proven) appears
not right because, there is no justified connection with compliance of local
requirements and the observance of the provisions of the law.


       Else, there is some kind of intimidation. Applicants for local government
permits will be disadvantaged if it is not given because compliance with Act 8495
is not made. In the absence of permits a building or a condominium corporation
will have difficulty of getting monetary claims out of a compensable event simply
because a permit is not issued or there is delay in permit issuance.


       As an outline, our organization composed mostly of building managers,
building administrators and heads of building operations, presents our
understanding and belief of said law.
 1.     We are seeking deferment of the act for at least one year until furnished
 with the implementing rules and regulations and in the interim (for those clearly
 embraced by the Acts provisions) be allowed to avail of the services of a
 professional mechanical engineer or a mechanical engineer or a certified plant
 mechanic thru retainership agreement.


2.      The implementing rules and regulations should be more precise on the
definition of what is mechanical work, project or plant. The mere presence of an
elevator, an air-conditioning system and such simple contrivance as a water or
sump pump does not pre qualify a building as a mechanical work, project or plant
to place it within the coverage of the Act.


3.      The local building officials in implementing RA 8495 should not deny,
delay or withhold the release of permits, clearances or certificate if all the
requirements for the application are complied. To deny, delay or withhold the
issuance because the applicant has not submitted with the requirements of RA
8495 is a different kind of application processing because in reality it will be
difficult to avail of the services of mechanical engineers within a short period of
time.


4.      The Professional Regulation Commission should provide a list of available
professional mechanical engineers, mechanical engineers or certified plant
mechanics and have it circulated to entities subject to the Act.


5.      Reduce the requirement of the law since individual unit are titled and
building organization tend only the common area equipment of the building.

				
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