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Re: CE's and SE's on Philippine setting

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From: Cleofe, Antonio Ronaldo C. <gttwarc(--nospam--at)>
Subject: CE's and SE's on Philippine setting

>Dear Mr. Lagrimas,
>All you said is true except that the P4800/month salary may be too meager
>to be even near median salary for new graduates.  I work for Philippine
>Geothermal, Inc. (a subsidiary of UNOCAL 76) and new graduates
>(Chem engrs), especially under the Process Engineering Development
>Program, entry salary may well range from P28,000 to P36,000 monthly,
>and new operators (Engg undergrad or Mech engr) may get P22,000 to
>P28,000 monthly and hey, that's well above the median should I say.

Well, I am glad to hear that feedback. Unfortunately, you must realize the
salary just mentioned is an exception. Most of our young graduates do not
enjoy that privilege. I'm sure in Manila and in some cities in the north the
salary is much higher but not as high as you mentioned. Not to forget those
few companies which offer attractive salaries just like yours.

 I am a CE and have worked with the
>geothermal industry for over 7 years already and have enjoyed should I say
> rewarding job which I could not have attained working as a CE practicing
>privately or employed.  After graduating in the early 1990's I worked in
>the construction industry and have grossed an income too low to even
>make up for the effects of inflation in our country.  New Civil Engineers
>now in our country get a better pay but the conditions are the same,
>i.e. it will not cope up with inflation. So do you wonder why some CE's
>in our country turn unbecoming in their profession?

Previous posts on this subject mentioned similar outcomes. I guess you for
one have decided to leave the CE profession and stick to the geothermal
industry for good. Though you are just near the 30's (correct?) I am happy
you found better prospects in life in your choosen field. Your salary
already provides comfortable living and enough savings if I am not mistaken
and you dont have to worry about inlfation as well. Congratulations.

 >So will you still say that P4800/month is
>sufficient to new graduates?  It happens to CE's in our country...
>Well, structural engineers here are different because SE is not a
>profession per se but a specialization.  (PRC even has criteria in
>recognizing SE's in the Philippines) You cannot get directly a license
>for SE if you're not a CE, right? Or is it a license or a PRC
>recognition? (do enlighten me,
>please).  CE's and SE's practice had become closely knitted in the
>Philippines so that either is practiced individually or both on private
>firms and the government.  Surely recognized SE's can take consultancy fees
>and this is their advantage, and comparing chicks to roosters, we can also
>apply it to the level of advancement of Civil Engineering in our country
>and abroad and even to board exams here and other countries.

The Philippines offer only BS Civil Engineering unlike in other countries
where they have a BS or BEng and Structural Engg might be offered aside from
Civil Engg. But I'm sure most SE are in specialization.
In Philippine practice, all our SE are CE. If I'm not mistaken, all of them
have Masters at least! and they belong to the prestigious ASEP (Association
of Structural Engineers in the Phils). However, there is no special
status/recognition for SE at the PRC. The pillars at PICE did not agree with
this considering that all SE are CE in the first place!!!

With regards to your comments on the advancement of the profession...
1. As far as theory is concerned there should be not much difference since
we are using the same books and references. But since our universities don't
have and can not afford professors who are experts in their field, what can
we expect? Thus, on the part of the student he should be resourceful and
smart enough to learn the basics during undergraduate study. Then the
responsibility is left to to the young engineer.

I have a friend who went for Masters abroad and he said that in one semester
they can cover the syllabus since emphasis is given on the principles. Most
of the time there are no examples during lectures. Problems are given during
assignments and students do it themselves or they study in groups. But he
found out the university's level of difficulty of undergraduate exams is
below his expectations. He sounds arrogant but when he showed me the exam
paper I believed him!

I took the CE Licensure Exams in 1991 and the problems were very
challenging! as far as undergraduate study is concerned but I'm not sure how
it compares to similar exams in other countries. Most countries have PE
exams. However, I am not a Professional Engineer yet and I have not seen PE
exam papers so I can't share with you its degree of difficulty.

2. If you talk about R&D, then don't ever compare!!!