I know, this post is long overdue. The seminar happened a few months ago. Also, I did not my own camera – so I got the pictures here from the photographers who took shots of the seminar. The RA9292 PDF is located within this post.
Last April 24, 2010, I was able to attend one of IECEP’s seminars, which was held here in Baguio City. IECEP stands for Institute of Electronic Engineers in the Philippines, an institution where one of its main goals is to keep registered electronics engineers in the Philipines keep abreast with the latest technological advancements in the field.
What is a lady programmer like me doing with these group of engineers?
If you have been poking around my site long enough or had read me through my about page, you might have read that I am an electronics engineer by profession. My past jobs earned me enough skills for me to do the job of a programmer and later, a web designer. However, this does not mean I was not able to practice pure electronics-related job throughout my career – I was once a maintenance engineer in a semiconductor company before I discovered the beauty of earning from blogs and freelancing.
For now, it seemed that the most active IECEP members are instructors: I got to meet again my former college instructors. I also saw several instructors from several universities and colleges in my place. That was expected, I thought. These instructors need to maintain their licenses to keep their jobs.
What really surprised me is that I met a former classmate: she turned out to be an instructor who is working at one of the colleges in the low lands.
The RA9292 Myths
One of the most interesting highlights of the talk was how the Philippine law known as RA9292 or “Electronics Engineering Law of 2004”. I was pleased that this was discussed (I am guessing that IECEP had been explaining this for the nth time to its members).
This Republic Act 9292 was known to have created a stir among Filipino electronics engineers. I heard various complaints in the internet and off the internet. In general I could cite these major myths that are going around:
Myth number 1: Licensed electronics and communications engineers were downgraded to electronics engineers. The name was changed to electronics engineer to reflect the ever-changing fields of electronics engineering. One of the most notable changes was that ICT (information and communications technology), aviation and maritime engineering fields were included. This change was not well defined in the previous act.
Those who finished related courses such as computer and mechatronics engineering must take the ECE board exam to be able to get the license and append the title of engineer to their full names.
Yay! I realized that I did not really got out of my field of expertise!
Myth number 2: Renewal of electronics engineering license is useless if you are into occupations that don’t need licenses. Not for long, as IECEP had already taken further steps to include electronics engineers as one of the signatories in building plans – alongside architects, civil engineers and sanitary engineers. also, there is that future plan to make electronics engineering license recognized not only in the country but on neighboring southeast asian countries as well. Soon enough, engineers working in private companies here in the Philippines need to hold licenses to be able to continue their work.
However, for those working overseas and don’t have plans to work in the Philippines soon, it’s not really practical to maintain this license. It’s best to get licensed from the chosen country of work.
Myth number 3: Don’t bother renewing your electronics engineering license – you need to sweat out CPE points for knowledge that may be unrelated to the job.
CPE point system had been implement in other courses for quite a while, and it is but normal to implement the same in electronics engineering. The purpose of this point system is to make sure that electronics engineers are updated with the technical developments in the field, not only in their field of expertise. Like as mentioned in the previous myth, it won’t be long before licensed electronics engineers becomes a requirement in any electronics engineering occupation.
Myth number 4: If you are in the IT (information technology) field, aviation, maritime and (insert the name of an electronics-related field here) fields, you don’t need to maintain the license. Not true. See myth number 1.
The “Electronics Engineering Act of 2004” is definitely an improvement over the previous RA 5734. It really defined well what electronics engineering is all about. Although I like this change, there are still some issues that IECEP must continuously look after:
- Electronics engineering licenses are still useless except in occupations that require licensed engineers. In many private companies this is still true. I hope IECEP should take the necessary steps so that engineers hired in companies should truly be licensed engineers in the first place. These individual engineers too, should prepare and not wait and complain when they began to realize that they’d lose their jobs just because they aren’t licensed engineers.
- As a result from item number one above, companies should let their engineers be trained for their additional CPE points. This means paid time away from their job and even paid expenses to the place of training!
Electronics Engineers can go into self-employment!
Finally! I get paid for my signature – just like other professions. This is only true if I decide to upgrade my license to professional electronics engineer (PECE). Professional electronics engineers get to sign building plans like any other civil, geodetic and sanitary engineers: during the seminar I was able to see how those building plans look like, but the emphasis of the talk is that each PECE have to be very responsible in approving and signing their building plans, because the responsibility also falls on them.
This development is indeed great news, as it is another promising pathway for me to start a career on this area, in addition to, or as a replacement to my current job as a freelance web designing and blogger.