PCAAE honors UAP prexy Board Member of the Year

January 22, 2020 | By: The Manila Times (published last January 21, 2020)

THE Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE), known as the “association of associations” in the country, recognized National President of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) Benjamin Panganiban Jr. as 2019 PCAAE Association Board Member of the Year awardee during its gala dinner and awards night at the Philippine International Convention Center last Nov. 27, 2019 in Pasay City.

Bestowed in conjunction with the PCAAE Summit 7 and 2019 Ang Susi Awards Night, the award is conferred upon a board member of an organization who has demonstrated outstanding service to the association and country, to the practice of good governance, and to the ideals and advocacy of the PCAAE by volunteering time, talent, and resources as a board member.

Panganiban was honored for bringing the programs and services of a 48,000-strong association down to the grassroots level, showing how exceptional architecture truly makes a difference in people’s lives.

A product of the University of Mindanao, he has 34 years of private practice under his belt, along with the distinction of being the first Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) architect and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) architect from Davao City with a specialization in imported material specifications. He is a fellow of the UAP, and was conferred a doctor fellow title by the Royal Institute Architects Singapore.

Panganiban is also a regular contributor of The Manila Times under the column “The Architect’s Perspective” of the Build and Design Section.

What sets him apart from others, however, is his deep involvement in uplifting the image and professional development of Filipino architects.

The architect’s voice

From 2010 to 2013, Panganiban was already seeking a solution to a common image problem architects around the country faced.

“Whenever I went to the provinces and talk to the locals there, they would always call me ‘engineer.’ Without offense to other professions, it was a notion that bothered me at first.

Eventually as I went up the ladder of the organization, I began to realize that we have to initiate intense public education on what registered and licensed architects really do so the public will have a better understanding of our roles in society,” he said.

This paved the way for the advocacy campaign, “For Your Plans and Designs, Get an Architect,” which also spawned the #GetAnArchitect campaign in partnership with The Manila Times, Davies Paints, Wilcon Depot, Rain or Shine, Citihardware Inc. and stakeholders in the construction industry, and a series of awareness articles and publications.

“Architects see the big picture. They don’t just design basic four walls and a roof. They create total environments, interiors, and exteriors that satisfy functional needs,” he said, emphasizing the architects’ proven mastery of areas such as international building codes, local laws, and even environmental concerns.

While it may be difficult to quantify results from the campaign, Panganiban said he has received glowing feedback from architects in terms of employment and projects mostly coming from the regions. These were aligned with his intent to be the voice of the regions on the national level of UAP, which was formed in 1975 with the integration of the League of Philippine Architects, Association of Philippine Government Architects, and Philippine Institute of Architects.

A time of ‘firsts’

Aside from being the first UAP national president from Mindanao, Panganiban is also known for other ‘firsts.’ He is the first national president of a huge association with 174 chapters locally and around the world and some 2,000 to 3,000 new members every year.

Nearing the end of his first term, UAP won the PRC Most Outstanding Accredited Professional Organization Award in June 2019. This award he even promised the membership at the start of the year. UAP also took home the International Achievement Award from the European Business Assembly in Milan, Italy at the start of his second term.

Under his leadership, UAP also partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry for the First Innovation and Construction Forum, PRC-PAPRB’s (Professional Regulatory Board-The Philippine Association of Professional Regulatory Board) 7th Professional Summit, Asian Institute of Management, NLEx Corporation, Green Architecture Advocacy Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation and GMA Kapuso Foundation, Architects Regional Council Asia for the hosting of the first-ever Asian Architects in the Academe Assembly, and the 3rd Asean Architects Congress in the Philippines. He managed to secure the hosting of the 9th APEC Architect Central Council which will be held in the Philippines in 2020 along with the hosting of the International Conference of Architects in September of the same year.

Financial viability, while a common challenge among associations, was among the hallmarks of UAP under Panganiban’s presidency. A prudent stewardship of the annual national membership dues for two fiscal years has led to time deposits worth more than P20 million — another first for the association. He recognizes the autonomy of UAP chapters in management and fund sourcing, as well as sharing plans for the association to go into property investments for increased financial solvency in the future.

He is also pushing for continuing professional development for UAP members in light of new, modern digital technologies employed in the profession. In addition, he is a staunch advocate of corporate social responsibility through UAP’s initiative “Bayanihang Arkitektura,” which aims to bring together a unique knowledge base to help communities and promote sustainable designs and practices.

Leading a massive professional association is no small feat, and Panganiban believes his success goes beyond being “a guy from the provincial architect’s ranks.” It is all about converting one’s sympathy into willful action to achieve collective progress.

“It’s just really important to bring the activities of the national office down to the level of the UAP chapters and to the communities, interacting with all members and guaranteeing that we value their membership and are trying to be service-oriented at all times,” he said.

“The chapters are the backbone of the organization and should be taken well of first and foremost. And therefore we should be able to enhance the general membership to be participative by empowering them to uplift the profession and the professionals. Break the monopoly of a few and give the chapters the power to perform. I am thankful the chapters have been receptive and have given this leadership the mandate to pursue their visions and aspirations, to give them the voice necessary to show society and the local governments there are architects, to empower the chapters to educate the public on what we do other than drawing beautifully, and align all our chapter’s actions as one towards making sure the architects are the right professionals for vertical structures and habitat for man,” he added.

Source: https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/01/21/business/real-estate-and-property/pcaae-honors-uap-prexy-board-member-of-the-year/676142/ 

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