Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 6

ENGINEERING THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE CIVIL ENGINEERING PROFESSION by Henry P.

Turalde Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges

Introduction The idea of a society having an improved quality of life or better standard of living is the

bottom line of national development. This has been pursued by nations from the ancient times to the present. The quality and quantity of goods and services available to the people and the way these goods and services are distributed within the population are measured by certain standards. There are many factors being considered in measuring these standards. Some factors are measured by economics, infrastructure development, political and social stability and many others. However, the delivery and access of these goods and services to the people are highlighted by the quality of infrastructures, the economic and social underpinnings of a community or nation (MS Encarta Premium 2006). And the quality of the infrastructures depends on the quality of people given the task of building these infrastructuresthe engineers, in general; or more specifically appropriate, the civil engineers. In fairness to other professions, because of the underlying factors national development needed to be engineered by the civil engineers. II Infrastructure in National Development Generally, infrastructure is a set of interconnected structural elements that provide the framework supporting the entire structure. The term has various meanings in different fields, but is perhaps most widely understood to refer to roads, sewers, and the like, the infrastructure of a city or region. These various elements may collectively be termed civil infrastructure, municipal infrastructure, or simply public works, although they may be developed and operated as privatesector or government enterprise. In applications, infrastructure may refer to information technology, informal and formal channels of communication, software development tools, political or social networks, or shared beliefs held by members of particular groups. Still underlying these more general uses is the concept that infrastructure provides organizing structure and support

for the system or organization it serves, whether it is a city, a nation, or a corporation (Wikipedia). The types of infrastructures Economic infrastructures: Public utilities such as power, telecommunications, water supply, sanitation, sewerage, solid waste collection Public works such as roads, dams, canals for irrigation Transportation such as railways, urban transport and ports Social infrastructures such as provision for education and health care.

Figure 1. How infrastructure contribute to development The links between infrastructure services, growth and social outcomes are shown in figure 1. The delivery of services like water, sanitation, transportation and energy directly benefit households and can dramatically improve their welfare. Many of the benefits of the infrastructure services are enjoyed by the business sectors. III The Role Of Civil Engineers in Infrastructure

To the different types of infrastructure, whether economic or social, the civil engineering profession is the most actively involved profession, thus, posing a great challenge to the profession. The civil engineer to face the challenge must be committed to improving the nations public works infrastructure as dominant theme and priority development (ASCE Policy Statement 410). To achieve this, the civil engineer or the PICE should: 1) Foster development of a rational national infrastructure policy directed towards achieving a healthy public works infrastructure; 2) Promote and support basic and applied research and development in infrastructure design, materials, construction, maintenance, rehabilitation and operation; 3) Pursue means to overcome institutional barriers to innovation;

4) Encourage and support legislative and regulatory initiatives to facilitate infrastructure


improvement and investment; 5) Participate actively in planning and developing proven and innovative methods and partnerships for financing infrastructure improvements; 6) Emphasize and publicize the positive relationship between infrastructure investment and economic productivity and international competitiveness; 7) Encourage and promote the application of quality management principles and techniques to all aspects of infrastructure management, planning, design, construction and operation; 8) Promote education and training courses in infrastructure planning and management, including sustainable development principles, in civil engineering curricula and in continuing education; 9) Focus national attention on infrastructure needs through cooperative efforts; 10) Foster public education and information programs on infrastructure benefits and needs. Many assessments of the major problems besetting infrastructure suggests:

1) the need to increase the professional ethical awareness of the civil engineers,
2) decrease or eliminate graft and corruption in procurement and construction practices, and 3) enact into law the innovative and interactive professional practice of the civil engineer including the specialization of the civil engineering profession into branches of, but not limited to construction, structural, geotechnical, water resources and transportation engineering.

Quality professional service would be rendered as civil engineers become specialists. The Philippines being a typhoon or calamity-stricken country needs better infrastructure to withstand disaster. Calamity did not prevent other countries into national development. Countries like Japan (in earthquake disaster region), The Netherlands (whose major land area elevation is below sea level) and Israel (war-torn region) were not stopped by disaster to pursue the national objective of development. Rather, they had committed to promote good governance and instituted relevant innovations to infrastructure design and moved forward on to development. Critical infrastructures which include those facilities and assets so vital, that if destroyed or incapacitated would pose relevant threat to the security, economy, health, safety or the welfare of the public would be disrupted. In the Philippines, these critical infrastructures are without standard definition. Without these, it is difficult to develop industry and building standards and used metrics for progress in this vital area. Without useful metrics, it is difficult to gauge whether or not security investments are being made effectively and efficiently (ASCE 2006). IV Roadblocks to Development Development does not begin with machines or goods. Rather it starts with people, their attitudes, values and institutions. Some former poor countries became rich and developed because of the quality of the peoples (Fajardo, 2004). No amount of infrastructure no matter how gigantic it is, can achieve national development if people are not positively committed to building the nation. A. Ethical Issues Filipino engineers must practice within the highest level of professional ethical standards. Filipino civil engineers can practice better than these practical examples: 1) It is necessary, so it is ethical; 2) It is legal and permissible, it is proper 3) It is just part of the job; 4) Everybody is doing it; 5) It is all for a good cause; 6) It does not hurt anybody;

7) I can not do anything about it; 8) It is Ok, I dont gain personally; 9) That is the way of doing business here. B. Corruption in construction Corruption in construction is not a top secret anymore. It is a public knowledge. Transparency International published the Global Corruption Report 2005 where it underlined the economic costs of corruption. It featured the different corrupt practices such as: 1) Bribery 2) Fraud 3) Bribery and fraud It also included corrupt practices in each stage of construction: 1) Planning and design Stage 2) Pre-qualification and tendering phase 3) Project execution phase 4) Operation and maintenance phase 5) Main contracting 6) Sub-contracting. Effects of corruption in construction includes the following but not limited to: 1) The consumers in the developing country do not receive well-delivered services due to late completion, occasional breakdown, or short life span of the infrastructure. This has adverse effect in the industry. 2) Aid to developing country is cut back due to loan default and rumored corruption in relation to the project.

3) The additional cost or overspending means that this sum is not available for use
in other projects.

4) Part of the ultimate cost of the bribe and project overspend is paid by
taxpayers. 5) The contractor and the bank gain, as the contractor is paid in contract price and the bank is paid the capital and interest of the loan. However, in the long term, they lose potential business in the country due to lack of further development.

6) The contractor and its relevant employees face the long term risk that the bribe
will be discovered, and that they will be prosecuted for bribery. The bank and

export credit agency and their employees face the risk of being prosecuted for aiding and abetting if they knew of the circumstances of the bribe or were willfully blind. The Filipino people are fully aware of the corruption in the infrastructure that they ranked DPWH among the most corrupt agencies of the Philippine government. DPWH through its website stated that DBM estimated that 50% of the project allocation goes to corruption, and DPWH acknowledged its responsibility to curb corruption. This action of the DPWH to stop corruption will not be effective without the contribution of the civil engineers themselves. C. Professional Issues Civil engineers before they can effectively engineer the national development must first engineer their own profession. They must redefine an updated and interactive role of civil engineers in the society. The civil engineering profession is facing a big blow to its professional practice by the issuance of the new IRR of the National Building Code. If the professions (architects, civil engineers and engineers in other fields) who are involved in the nation-building are literally destroying each other to get the sharks share in the industry, then what is the fate of the nation, and its development. The Professional Regulatory Commission, the Philippine Congress and the Supreme Court should finally resolve this issue without prejudice to each and every profession. How can the civil engineering profession engineer the national development when the profession itself needed some repairs?

References: 1. ASCE Policy Statement 410 Cecilia Bricenio-Garmendia et al, Infrastructure Services in Developing Countries, Access, Quality, Costs and Policy , 2004 Feliciano R. Fajardo, Economic Development, 2004 Transparency International, Preventing Corruption on Construction Projects, 2005 Transparency International, Global Corruption Report 2005

2.
3. 4. 5.