An architect and a PRC commissioner

December 20, 2018 | By: ARCH. BENJAMIN PANGANIBAN JR. (first published in The Manila Times last December 19, 2018)

Some past national presidents of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) are fortunate and blessed. Some are even more fortunate and blessed after their tenure of office at the UAP. This statement probably aptly describes our energetic and wonder woman, Architect Yolanda “Yolly” David-Reyes.

Commissioner Reyes, as she is now called, is a hard act to follow. Presently one of the commissioners of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC), she has a long list of accolades that makes her unique and fascinating to be with. If you read her resume, you can conclude she has a lot of firsts in her portfolio.

The PRC is an agency under the Department of Labor and Employment that supervises and regulates the practice of professionals in the country, who incidentally constitute the highly skilled manpower of the country. The PRC plays a very significant role in developing professionals for various sectors such as those in the fields of commerce, economics, industrial, technical work and governance.

Comm Yolly, a shorter way of how we now call her, is very much well equipped to pursue the vision of the PRC and that is to secure for our country a reliable, trustworthy and progressive system of determining the competence of professionals by credible and valid licensure examinations and standards of professional practice that are globally recognized and accepted.

She is a graduate of architecture from the University of Sto. Tomas in 1975. She took up her masteral degree at the same university in 1986 and completed her academic requirements for PhD program at the University of the Philippines-School of Urban and Regional Planning. She eventually became the dean of the UST College of Architecture and Fine Arts for nine solid years, which was granted the status of “Center for Excellence” of the College in 1999 by the Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines.

Because of her determination and zeal to excel, her forward vision and leadership by example, she became the first woman national president of UAP. She has served well the integrated and accredited professional organization of architects for two years from fiscal years (FY) 1998-1999 and 1999-2000. Two of her major contributions to her profession was uplifting the UAP organization into the international arena and by being the first lady architect to sit down as an elected chair (or president as it is now called) to lead the Architects Regional Council of Asia or ARCASIA comprised of 22 Asian countries. Because of her devotion to the profession, she was conferred the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Presidential Medal and an Honorary Fellow of the AIA, which was a first for a woman architect from the Asean region to receive such a prestigious award. She was also the vice president of the Union of International Architects (UIA) for Zone B. It was quite a remarkable achievement for a Filipina architect to sit in the international world body of architects prior to her stint at the PRC.

But that is not what I want to stress in this piece. I want to stress her leadership traits that we can all look up to. She inspires others to achieve what is reachable. Her dedicated work ethics and drive to motivate professionals to excel should be emulated. She motivates people around her in things she may have experienced, dreamt or seen before through leading by example. She is the epitome of a true Likha Awardee, bestowed upon her in 2013 by the UAP, the highest award any Filipino registered architect can aspire for in the orgnization. Each professional, architect, officern or committee member can learn a thing or two from her.

The UAP National Chapter, together with all the architects, should be able to perform well in FY 2018-2019 with Comm. Yolly around. Also helpful is the presence of other PRC architects such as PRC- Board of Architecture Chair Arch. Robert Sac, a former UAP national president (2004) and PRC Outstanding Professional of the Year awardee in 2013; Board of Examiner and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Architecture head Arch. Robert Mirafuente.

Mirafuente is supporting architects in their lawful and rightful activities in the PRC’s CPD programs to uplift the architects’ profession, and in other inter-government related activities, which our UAP Commission on Government and External Affairs Executive Director Arch. Gil Japitana heads with the help of his committee members and executive director for the Professional Development Arch. Virgilio Jun Andres.

Andres and his committee members, like the other officers mentioned above, can coordinate with the PRC to implement programs.

Comm. Yolly will continue to deliver well the competence of professionals through professional standards of integrity, accountability and excellence and the mission of the PRC which can stand for Professionalism, Responsibility and Competence.

Mabuhay PRC commissioner architect David-Reyes. We are all proud of you.

The writer is the current national president of the United Architects of the Philippines and the first national president coming from Mindanao. He has been in the Private practice for more than 33 years and is a Fellow of the UAP. He is also the first Asean architect and APEC architect coming from Davao City. He is a graduate of B.S. Architecture from the University of Mindanao and is also a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Architects Singapore.

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