Washington Accord accreditation a boon to Phl engineers – Angara

By Jason de Asis

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, November 18, 2010- The socalled Washington Accord, which is an agreement among nations that recognize the equivalence of engineering programs is a boon to Filipino engineers who will be allowed to practice as professionals in the signatories.

Sen. Edgardo Angara stressed that Filipino engineers can avail of this opportunity even as the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology, and Engineering (COMSTE), which he chairs, is supporting the move for the country to gain accreditation in the exclusive Washington Accord which will allow engineering graduates to practice in other member countries.

Angara said the country is gaining momentum in its desire to become a member of the Washington Accord with the recent signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Philippine Technological Council (PTC) and the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) to set up an accreditation system for Philippine schools.

Among the signatory member countries of the Washington Accord are the USA, UK, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea.

Angara said it is providential that Dr. Reynaldo Vea, one of main proponents behind the push for Philippine accreditation in the Washington Accord happens to be the Chair of the Science, Math, and Engineering (SME) panel of COMSTE. The panel has identified the accreditation of the Philippines into the Washington Accord as an essential step in helping keep the country globally competitive.

He said that without membership in this exclusive group, local engineers are at a disadvantage as their education is not considered at par with international standards.

COMSTE also sponsored the Association for Engineering Education in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (AEESEAP) Workshop Seminar on Washington Accord Accreditation: International Accreditation of Engineering Programs for the Global Engineer, which gathered university faculty and engineering accreditation bodies to help facilitate membership into the Washington Accord.

The workshop also helped school officials understand the necessary curricular revisions needed as well as programs and facilities that need to be updated in order to comply with the Washington Accord requirements.

State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) that choose to incorporate Washington Accord accreditation into their programs will also receive funding support to improve their respective engineering programs.

Angara noted that membership in the Washington Accord would also ensure that engineering students will be open to new fields brought about by technological advances in engineering such as renewable energy, mechatronics, robotics, biomedical among others. (Jason de Asis)