Level of Competence of Civil Engineers in the Philippines

Its Projects for Employment and Implications for curricular Improvement

Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation, 2007

163 Pages, Grade: 1.00






Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

Background of the Study
Statement of the Problem
Objectives of the Study
Significance of the Study
Scope and Limitations of the Study
Theoretical Framework
Conceptual Framework
Definition of Terms

Related Literature
Related Studies
Similarities and Differences

Chapter Three – METHODOLOGY
Locale of the Study
The Respondents
The Variables and Their Measures
Research Design
Research Instruments
Scoring and Interpretation
Population and Sampling
Validation of Research Instrument
Data Gathering Procedures
Statistical Treatment of Data


Profile of the Respondents

Profile of the University of Eastern Philippines

Profile of the different Institutions/Companies hiring civil engineers

Level of Competence of Civil Engineers Between the UEP Graduates and Non-UEP Graduates as Observed by the Civil Engineers and Their Immediate Supervisors or HRMO

Level of Competence of Civil Engineers as observed by the Civil Engineers and their Immediate Supervisors or HRMO

Status of the Civil Engineering Curriculum of the University of Eastern Philippines

Test of Relationship between the Civil Engineer- Respondents’ Profile and their Level of Competence

Test of Difference on the Level of Competence of Civil Engineers Between UEP and Non-UEP Graduates

Test of Difference on the Observations of the Level of Competence Between Civil Engineers and Heads of Institutions/Companies


Conclusions and Implications
Implications for Curriculum Improvement
Theory Formulated


A - Questionnaire for Civil Engineers
B - Questionnaire for the Immediate Superiors or HRMO of Civil Engineers
C – Letter to the Respondents
D – Evaluation Rating Result on the Status of Civil Engineering Curriculum of UEP



The study focused on the assessment of the level of competence of Filipino civil engineers in Northern Samar, its prospects for employment and implications for curricular improvement.

It employed the descriptive-correlational method of research. Two sets of questionnaire were utilized to gather information needed in this study. The first was on the profile of the civil-engineer respondents and level of competence and the second was the AACCUP instrument.

Frequency counts, percentages, multiple regression and z-test were utilized to analyze the data.

The findings of this study showed that a majority of the respondents were male, young, passed the Licensure Examination for Civil Engineer, employed in government institutions on permanent status and are working in jobs related to the field of civil engineering, attended more than 7 trainings/seminars, have 7 years and above experience, and only few pursue post baccalaureate studies.

At present, the department of Civil Engineering recorded an increasing enrolment, majority of which are male. As to its board examination results, the university’s passing percentage always exceeds the national passing percentage.

The civil engineers rated themselves as moderately competent as to level of competence, ranking as first is managerial skills while keeping abreast with the latest technology was observed to be the lowest. The respondents’ immediate supervisors or HRMO rated their employees as moderately competent, wherein technical expertise is the highest and communication skills was observed to be the lowest.

As regards to the status of the civil engineering curriculum in the University of Eastern Philippines, Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives, Faculty, Curriculum and Instruction, Support to Students, Library and Administration were rated very good, while Physical Plant and Facilities, Extension & Community Involvement and Laboratories were rated good and research was rated fair. In summary, the general findings of the study had a very good rating.

The same findings revealed that there is no significant relationship between the respondents’ level of competence and their age, eligibility, position and years of experience, while sex, category of employment, type of employment, training/seminars attended and highest educational attainment were found to be significant with the respondents’ level of competence.

There is no significant difference on the level of competence between the UEP and the non UEP graduates in terms of communication skills, managerial skills, environmental awareness, professional advancement and keeping abreast with the latest technology, while there is significant difference on the level of competence between the UEP and non UEP graduates in terms of skills and technical expertise.

Likewise there is no significant difference on the ratings of the civil engineers and the observations of their immediate supervisors or HRMO.


The following persons are worthy of acknowledgment, praise and emulation for they had contributed much to the realization of this research and made all possible the gathering of needed materials and data which are highly needed in the final analysis. The researcher is highly indebted to all who had been part of this achievement.

To Dr. Mindanilla B. Broto, his thesis adviser, for her immeasurable professional assistance and support from the visualization up to the realization stage of this research endeavor that ended up as a globally competitive output.

To his panel of examiners, Dr. Fe Y. Tan, Dr. Nimfa T. Basierto, Dr. Antontio S. Broto, Dr. Rolando Delorino, Dr. Pedro D. Desrura and Dr. Mar P. De Asis, for their time and effort extended in giving constructive criticisms and sharing useful knowledge that enhanced the purpose of this undertaking.

To Dr. Antonio S. Broto and Prof. Nilo Salazar, his statisticians, for their incalculable assistance in the computer manipulation and statistical analysis of data.

To Dr. Manuel A. Basierto, the Dean of the Graduate School, for his unending support and motivation to the researcher in pursuing higher level of education and for his fatherly advice and intellectual inputs that molded him to a more competent individual.

To his GS professors, Dr. Pedro D. Destura, Dr. Zenaida Lucero, Dr. Arminda Infante, Dr. Oscar Cisar, Dr. Haydee O. Evardone, Dr. Antonio Broto, Dr, Manuel Basierto, and Dr. Linda A. Cinco, for their intellectual and philosophical inputs that propelled his holistic development as an individual and as a professional.

To Prof. Estrelita Pinca, GS Secretary, and to all GS staff, for their magnificent support and motivation.

To his classmates in the doctoral program, Inday, Josephine, Moises, Trofimo, Tito, Allan, Ida, Omar, Velfa, Girlie, Dario and Geraldine, who inspired him during classes and shared laughter during break time.

To all university officials, teaching and non-teaching staff and civil engineering students for their open-handed help in sharing their data and insights that helped the researcher in the final analysis of the status of the civil engineering of the university. Most specially to the Engr. Danilo Entico, Dean of the College of Engineering and Engr. Lolita P. Guita, for their colossal support and never fading concern in sharing all the needed data for the completion of this treatise.

To the civil engineering students and alumni of UEP Civil Engineering Department, both working here and abroad, who had extended time and effort during interviews either in person and through the internet, to validate the status of the curriculum.

To all civil engineers in Northern Samar and their immediate supervisors, especial mention to Engr. Sandy T. Pua, PICE Northern Samar Chapter President, and his officers, for the generous assistance to the researcher in gathering the needed data from all respondents all over the province and providing him the list and contact numbers of the private contractors and other respondents.

Dr. Myrna A. Poso, executive director of UEP Laoang, for her motherly advices and continuously inspiring the researcher in pursuing higher education that enthuses the researcher to pursue and dream for moving towards the realization of his reveries.

To the UEP Laoang family, his friends and colleagues, for the momentous activities they had shared during his stay in the university that instigated his trances to be more proficient professional.

To his colleagues and friends in Salalah College of Technology, Sultanate of Oman, especial mention to Josie, Jerry, Zaldy, Ceasar, Arman, Fanny, Charity, Ofel and Peter, for their whole-hearted support and inspiration while the researcher is in the process of data analysis and writing.

To Chito, Eric, Joey, Judy, Roy, Jaykris, Elmer, Neay, Boboy, Engr. Marlene Parane, Engr. Roel Morales, Engr. Isidro Bere, Mana Naydee, Baby Antipolo, Riza Entico and Saline Flores for their invaluable effort in helping the researcher in the data gathering.

To his loving and treasureable family, Ellen (mother), Arthur (stepfather), Arjae, Lola Carmen and Lola Ansa, aunties, uncles and cousins for their unending love and guidance that shaped the researcher into a worthy person.

And to the loving Almighty Father, for continuously showering the blessings that made his life meaningful and worthy of existence.


Names of people behind the realization of this precious discourse and those who made my worldly existence meaningful and worth reminiscing for are worthy of special mention.

This valuable undertaking is humbly dedicated

to my family




Lola Carmen

Lola Ansa

endless thanks and praise go to the One who made my life complete and valuable, through His blessings and guidance, on this humble work of knowledge and quest for truth.

I take a bow to our

Almighty Father, the Great Provider,

and raise in prayer my achievements unto

His name.

- Dondon


Table Number Table Name Page

1 Profile of the Respondents

2a Number of Enrolment for the Last Five Years

2b Board Examination Passing Percentage for the Last Five Years

2c Number of Years the Program is Offered, Level of Accreditation and Number of Faculty Members

3 Profile of the Different Institutions/ Companies Hiring Civil Engineers

4a Level of Competence of Civil Engineers Between UEP Graduates and Non-UEP Graduates

4b Level of Competence of Civil Engineers as Observed by Themselves and Their Immediate Supervisors or HRMO

5a Status as to Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives

5b Status as to Faculty

5c Status as to Curriculum and Instruction

5d Status as to Support to Students

5e Status as to Research

5f Status as to Extension and Community Involvement

5g Status as to Library

5h Status as to Physical Plant and Facilities

5i Status as to Laboratories

5j Status as to Administration

5k Status of the Civil Engineering Curriculum of the University of Eastern Philippines

6a Test of Relationship Between the UEP Civil Engineer Graduate-Respondents’ Profile and their Level of Competence

6b Test of Relationship Between the Non UEP Civil Engineer Graduate-Respondents’ Profile and their Level of Competence

6c Test of Relationship Between the Civil Engineer- Respondents’ Profile and their Level of Competence

7 Test of Difference on the Level of Competence of Civil Engineers Between UEP Graduates and Non-UEP Graduates

8 Test of Difference on the Observations of the Level of Competence Between Civil Engineers and Heads of Institutions/Companies


1 Schematic Diagram Showing the Relationship of Variables.

2 Map of the Philippines Showing the Province of Northern Samar

3 Line Graph Showing the Enrolment Pattern for the Last Five Years

4 Line Graph Showing the Board Examination Passing Percentage of the University of Eastern Philippines for the Last Five Years

5 Bar Graph Showing the Number of Employed Civil Engineers in Private and Government Institutions

6 Bar Graph Showing the Number of Employed Civil Engineers by Company/Institution

7 Bar Graph Showing the Level of Competence Between UEP Graduates and Non-UEP Graduates

8 Graph Showing the Level of Competence of Civil Engineers as Observed by Themselves and Their Immediate Supervisors or HRMO


Background of the Study

“One cannot question the desirability of technical training, especially in developing countries, for learning to survive is the basic instinct of all human beings.”

Heherson Alvarez (1991)

The onset of globalization has resulted to the yearly application for work abroad of thousands of Filipino civil engineers. Fortunately, most of the countries hiring engineers prefer Filipinos. Reports in newspapers and televisions reveal that there are Filipino workers who can really compete with other nationalities, although they are not the primary and sole bases for one to predict that all civil engineers abroad are globally competitive. Neither can it also be said that civil engineers who work in some private and government-owned construction firms in the Philippines can be considered globally-competitive because not all Philippine companies offering engineering services are accredited or have met certain global or even international standards. It goes without saying that a civil engineer of the future must have advanced knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will set him or her apart from other technologically-capable civil engineers. S/he must be better prepared to develop his/her competencies and potentials as a global worker whose prospects for a bright future can also be traced back to his educational training.

In the Philippines, engineering has many undergraduate programs with large enrolments. On the average, some 200,000 young Filipinos enroll in the different engineering courses and 40,000 graduate every school yearly (Ramos, 2000:7). The recent Civil Engineer Licensure Examination result shows that 2,065 or 44.37% out of 4,654 examinees passed (Philippine Star, 2006). This statistics indicates that many young Filipinos are inclined to the engineering profession. These aspirants, if given the proper motivation, guidance, educational assistance, training and development, will become competent engineers who will be able to compete in the future with foreign engineers and managers in big and multi-national projects. This situation creates stiff competition among our local professional engineers (Basilio, 2003:1). According to Lazaro (2003:1) the Filipino civil engineer is globally competitive. In almost any country in the world, one will see Filipino civil engineers competing successfully with other nationalities, including those from developed countries. For one thing good about Filipino engineers is that they are hardworking. This is opposed by the statement of Gepulango (2001) that civil engineering graduates of Philippine engineering schools are hardly recognized in most countries of the world. One reason for this could be the fact that it takes only fifteen years to earn a complete civil engineering degree in the Philippines while it takes a minimum of no less than sixteen years in the rest of the countries in the world.

The external parameters for our education today are liberalization, globalization and privatization. The internal one is enabling our students to cultivate and display their potential abilities in engineering and technology that cannot be easily done within the constraints of the formal curricular framework (Krishna, 2000). These abilities are requirements for excellence to keep one updated with the national and global trends and that makes cognizant the reorientation of students to the budding state of information technology in engineering through curriculum improvement.

Civil engineering graduates are evaluated through the licensure examination, which is administered by the Philippine Regulatory Commission. Upon passing the licensure examination, they are qualified for civil engineering professional practice. Since global economy is becoming interdependent, the world becomes the market place for civil engineers (Basilio, 2003). However, some civil engineering schools do not appear to be active in curriculum innovation research and exploration on how to leverage technology for educational advancement. One of the possible reasons for this may be the fragmentation of civil and environmental engineering into too many distinct specializations with little interaction, and a general lack of integrative, systematic approaches to curriculum reform (Karadogan et. Al., 2006:1).

According to Blas Ople (1997), the global market forces are now in a state of flux. It is therefore necessary for the Filipino manpower to be developed in terms of skills level to make them competitive both here and abroad (Basilio, 2003). Today, the problems confronting developing countries have become more complex requiring new approaches, new paradigms and new sets of technical competencies. Considering the different issues confronting the development of infrastructure in the Philippines, the current curriculum in civil engineering seems to fail in addressing the emerging needs (Doña and Yai, 2001).

In this world that is rapidly changing because of the inception of globalization, the civil engineering profession recognizes that there should be change in educational emphasis to meet the demands of the times. Innovations and global competition are forcing educational institutions to re-analyze and re-examine their present curriculum about the kind of civil engineers that they must produce. Issues such as the growing gap between theory and practice, overlapping of courses, computer literacy, and language proficiency are only few push factors that make revision of the current civil engineering education curriculum an imperative mission of the school to bridge the gap between the present set-up and global standards. This is especially so that the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) had enumerated five (5) specializations under civil engineering profession which are Construction Management and Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, and Geotechnical Engineering which can be awarded by the Board of Examiners upon completion of the requirements such as post baccalaureate studies and number of years working both in line with the specialization being applied for.

The new trends in the civil engineering profession have compelled the researcher to determine the competence level of Filipino civil engineers in his province, Northern Samar. He strongly believes that the findings of this study will also play a vital role in the improvement and upgrading of the civil engineering curriculum in the country for it to keep abreast with the fast changing requirements of global competitiveness. Hence, this study.

Statement of the Problem

This study determined the level of competence of Filipino civil engineers in Northern Samar, its prospects for employment and implications for curricular improvement.

Specifically, it sought to answer the following questions:

1. What is the profile of the civil engineer-respondents in terms of:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

2. What is the profile of state universities and colleges in Northern Samar in terms of:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

3. What is the profile of the different institutions/companies hiring civil engineers in terms of:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

4. What is the level of competence of civil engineers who are UEP graduates and non-UEP graduates, in terms of:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

5. What is the status of the civil engineering curriculum that is offered in the University of Eastern Philippines in terms of:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

6. Is there any significant relationship between civil engineer-respondents’ profile and their level of competence?

7. Is there a significant difference on the level of competence of civil engineers between UEP graduates and non-UEP graduates?

8. Is there a significant difference on the observations of the level of competence between civil engineers and heads of institutions/companies?

Objectives of the Study

This study aimed to find out the level of competence of Filipino civil engineers in Northern Samar and its prospects for employment and implications for curricular improvement.

Specifically, it tried to:

1. determine the profile of the civil engineer-respondents in terms of:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

2. ascertain the profile of the state universities and colleges in Northern Samar in terms of:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

3. find out the profile of the different institutions hiring civil engineers in terms of:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

4. find out the level of competence of civil engineers, who are UEP graduates and non-UEP graduates, in terms of:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

5. determine the status of the civil engineering curriculum in the University of Eastern Philippines in terms of:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

6. determine if there is significant relationship between civil engineer-respondents’ profile and their level of competence.

7. determine if there is significant difference on the level of competence of civil engineers between UEP and non-UEP graduates.

8. find out if there is significant difference on the observations of the level of competence between civil engineers and heads of institutions/companies.

Significance of the Study

Every research undertaking is anchored on the goal of unveiling another relevant contribution to the body of knowledge.

The result of this study is helpful to policy-makers for this may serve as guide in policy formulation geared towards the enhancement and upliftment of civil engineering curriculum to be able to produce competent, quality and globally-competitive Filipino civil engineers.

Administrators. The findings of this study will serve as eye-openers for them to strengthen, update and revise the present civil engineering curriculum in order to cope with globalization.

Instructors/Professors. They will be provided with insights and awareness on how to meet the demands of the industry by modifying and upgrading their method of instruction and instructional materials.

Researchers. Results of this study will provide them information and knowledge on the strengths and weaknesses of the present civil engineering curriculum, from which many researchable issues will be discovered and further explored in search for the truth and as a contribution to knowledge.

Students. This study will give them awareness of the need to develop early their skills and competencies to make them ready and prepared for the real world of work in the engineering profession.

Civil Engineers. This study will help them cope with the needs of the time specifically in meeting the demands for globalization of the civil engineering profession for easy employment here or abroad.

Curriculum Planners. This study will guide them in their future curricular revisions towards a more holistic and effective civil engineering curriculum.

UEP. This study will unveil the strengths and weaknesses of the civil engineering program. Hence, the findings of this study will be used as bases in the program planning and redirection of activities in the civil engineering department.

Policy-Makers. This study will provide them with a clear picture of civil engineering education in the province so that they could come up with educational plans and policies to make them more responsive to the demands of time by infusing quality education and excellence which are very much needed in the global arena of education.

Parents. The findings of this study will make them aware of the status of the civil engineering education so that they can strengthen their support to their children who are taking up civil engineering course and help them prepare their children to become globally-competitive individuals.

Community. This will instill awareness to the community on the status of the civil engineering curriculum and its employability so children will be encouraged to take this course.

Scope and Limitation

This study was delimited to the assessment of the level of competence of Filipino civil engineers working in Northern Samar as rated by the civil engineers and heads of industries/companies hiring civil engineers.

The respondents were the registered civil engineers working in the province of Northern Samar. They were grouped into UEP and non-UEP graduates and heads of industries/companies hiring civil engineers.

The study assessed the present civil engineering curriculum of the University of Eastern Philippines, being the sole state university in the province, based on the standards set by the Accrediting Agency for Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP).

This study was conducted in the school year 2007-2008.
The researcher was and had not been trained for accreditation. This is one limitation of the study. However, he was guided by his adviser who is an accredited AACCUP accreditor. Another limitation of this study is the exclusion of University of Eastern Philippines Laoang Campus, which also offers civil engineering program for the reason that it does not have graduates yet since the program was offered in SY 2003-2004 only.

Theoretical Framework

The study is anchored on Dewey’s theory which states that “education is a continuous process of experiencing, reorganizing experience, and adjustments having as its aim in every stage added capacity for growth (Dewey, 1914:61).” Brubacher elucidates Dewey’s theory by stating that “The educational process has no end beyond itself; it is its own end.” For further comprehension, Dewey (1914:61), in his book, simplified the statement through his famous syllogism by saying, “Education is all one with life, that life is growth, and therefore education is growth.”

Dewey’s philosophy, if put into realistic scenario in educational endeavor, advocates that education be supposed to continue growing not only physically but complimentarily with the needs of time, one that which puts changes in students as center of educative process and making the curriculum more holistic that would address the current need for globalization. Universities and colleges are therefore tasked with the responsibility of molding the students’ behavior and attitude, and instilling in them appropriate knowledge and skills that are useful in the development of the country through economic growth.

In the evaluation of the status of civil engineering curriculum in the University of Eastern Philippines, it utilized Thorndike’s fundamental principle of measurement, (Brubacher, 1969:270) which states that “everything that exists, exists in some amount, and what exists in amount can be measured”. The measurement of amount implies equal units and the use of cardinal numbers. It further means an objective and unswerving estimate, one in which results agree for other observers and when repeated on other occasions. This theory on measurement and evaluation seeks to explain the reality of civil engineering program as offered in the province of Northern Samar. So this study tried to unearth facts, which are not yet known for the improvement of the status of civil engineering curriculum not only in the provincial level but also in the national context of education.

Conceptual Framework

This research is premised on the idea that the ultimate measure of effectiveness of any civil engineering program is when the graduates, after passing the board examination, land a job along their specialized field. This is one indicator to measure the effectiveness of a certain curriculum that develops the students’ abilities and skills during their college days.

In order that the different theories and concept of this study will be further understood, the schematic diagram in Figure 1 is presented. The respondents of this study were the registered Filipino civil engineers presently working in the Province of Northern Samar. They were grouped into UEP and non-UEP graduates and were asked to rate their level of competence. To countercheck their responses, heads of government and private industries or their respective HRMOs were asked to rate the level of competence of their employees who are civil engineers. The data gathered were statistically computed to come up with a unified assessment on the competence level of the civil engineers in Northern Samar. This can be utilized in coming up with a proposals or improvement of the engineering curriculum.

The status of the civil engineering program of the University of Eastern Philippines was evaluated using the AACCUP instrument and the findings form part of the study’s analysis.

The level of competence of civil engineers was analyzed based on the national standards of the global demand of civil engineers as cited in the study of Basilio et. al. (2003). It was utilized in coming up with an in depth analysis of the present curricular offering of BS Civil Engineering in the University of Eastern Philippines.

This study was developed around the assumption that the competency level of civil engineers in Northern Samar, in terms of communication skills, computer skills, managerial skills, technical expertise, environmental awareness, professional advancement and keeping abreast with new technologies, is affected by the profile of the respondents in terms of sex, age, eligibility, status of employment, number of trainings/seminars attended, number of years of experience, and highest educational attainment.

It is assumed in this study that women are better in communication skills than men. The older a civil engineer is, the more competent he is. This is because of the length of experience he has in his field of specialization. Another assumption is that the more number of examinations or eligibilities s/he passes the more competent s/he is, compared to those who do not have eligibility.

As to the number of training/seminars, the more training or seminars s/he attended the more s/he becomes competent in his/her field. It is also assumed that the more number of years of experience s/he has as a civil engineer, the more competent s/he is. Lastly, it is assumed also that as s/he continuously pursues higher education, s/he becomes more competent.


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1. The schematic diagram showing the relationship of variables.


1. There is no significant relationship between the civil engineer-respondents’ profile and their level of competence.
2. There is no significant difference in the level of competence of civil engineers between UEP graduates and non-UEP graduates.
3. There is no significant difference on the observations of the level of competence between civil engineers and heads of industries/companies.

Definition of Terms

For easy understanding of some terms used in this study, the following are defined conceptually and operationally.

AACCUP. The acronym for Accrediting Agency for Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines.

Age. This is conceptually defined as the age according to year lived (Readers Digest, 1989:17). Operationally, it refers to the number of years from birth of the respondents to the year this research is conducted.

Communication Skills. Conceptually and operationally, they refer to the ability of the respondents to communicate in oral, written and computer language.

Computer Skills. Conceptually, it is the ability of an individual to properly and approximately use computers with hardware accessories (Cyclopedic Education Dictionary, 1998:56). In this study, it refers to the ability of the respondents to operate, manipulate and program computers.

Curriculum. Educational objectives that are applicable to a specific academic area or area of study (The Cyclopedic Education Dictionary, 1998:67). In this study it refers to the civil engineering program to include the observance of its minimum requirements, consistency of the courses offered, participative efforts of all concerned in the evaluation, development and revisions of the curriculum.

Eligibility. This refers to the Civil Engineering Licensure Examination and other National Examination administered by the Philippine Regulation Commission and Civil Service Commission, which the respondents passed.

Environmental Awareness. Conceptually and operationally, it refers to the respondents’ knowledge and information regarding the impact generated by the projects on the environment.

Experience. This refers to the number of years the respondents have worked as engineers.

Global Civil Engineer. In this study a global civil engineer is viewed as a licensed civil engineer who possesses the global skills in communication skills, computer skills, management, technical expertise, environmental awareness, professional advancement and keeping abreast with new technologies. As stated by Riemer (2000:91), a global engineer must be able to easily cross national and cultural boundaries.

Highest educational attainment. The educational attainment of the respondents categorized into bachelor’s degree holders, with earned master’s units, master’s degree holder, with earned doctoral units or doctoral degree holder.

Managerial Skills. Conceptually and operationally, they refer to the capacity of the respondents to become managers.

PICE. The acronym for Philippine Institute for Civil Engineers.

Sex. The sum characteristics, structures and functions by which an animal or plant is classified as male or female (The New Websters’ Dictionary, 1997:913). In this study, it refers to the respondents’ classification whether male or female.

Status of Employment. Conceptually and operationally , it refers to the category, type of employment and position of the respondents. In terms of category, the respondents were categorized as casual or permanent in status. As regards the type of employment, they were categorized as private or government. While for the position, the respondents were categorized as consultant/manager/project supervisor, estimator/designer/foreman, or other jobs not related to civil engineering work.

Technical Skills. Conceptually and operationally, they refer to the capacity of the respondents to work along construction projects.

Training/seminars attended. Conceptually and operationally, they pertain to the number of trainings/seminars the respondents attended whether local, regional, national or foreign.

UEP. The acronym for University of Eastern Philippines, the only state university in the province of Northern Samar with three campuses namely, UEP Main, UEP Laoang and UEP Catubig.


Personal Characteristics

Sex. Lupdag (1984:57) stressed that although conclusive results on sex differences in the verbal ability and numerical ability of Filipino have not been established, studies suggest that females are better in verbal ability while the male excel in numerical ability. Sex differences in verbal ability would then suggest an edge of one sex over the other in school performance. Sex differences in verbal ability could also affect choice of a course and a job.

Women and men have communicated differently since the dawn of time. There differences can create communication problems that undermine productivity and interpersonal communication. For example, surveys identified five common communication problems between women and men: (1) men were too authoritarian, (2) men did not take women seriously, (3) women were too emotional, (4) men did not accept women as co-workers or bosses and (5) women did not speak up enough (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004:534)

He further stressed that gender-based differences in communication are partly caused by linguistic styles commonly used by women and men.

The increase of women in the workplace has generated much interest in understanding the similarities and differences in female and male leaders. Three separate meta-analyses and a series of studies conducted by consultants across the country uncovered the following differences: (1) men and women were seen as displaying more task and social leadership, respectively, (2) women used a more democratic or participative style than men, and men a more autocratic and directive style than women, (3) men and women were equally assertive and (4) women executives, seemed higher than their male counterparts in a variety of objective criteria. (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004:598-599).

Kreitner and Kinicki (2004:54) added that as of June 2000, women were still underpaid relative to men. Even when women are paid the same as men, they may suffer in other areas of job opportunities. They mentioned that a study of 69 male and female executives from a large multinational financial services corporation revealed no difference in base salary or bonus. However, the women in this sample received fewer stock options than the male employees, even after controlling for level of education performance and job function, and reported less satisfaction with future career opportunities.

They further added that another study probed male-female differences in influencing work group members. Many studies have found women to be perceived as less competent and less influential in work groups than men. For both women and men, task behavior was associated with perceived competence and effective influence (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004:561).

Robbins (1989:45-46) stated that few issues initiate more debates, myths and unsupported opinions that whether females perform as well on job as do the males. The evidence suggests that the best place to begin is with the recognition that there are few, if any, important differences between males and females that will affect their job performance. There are, for instance, no consistent male-female differences in problem-solving ability, analytical skills, competitive drive, motivation, leadership, sociability or learning ability. While psychological studies have found that women are more willing to conform to authority and that men are more aggressive and more likely than women to have expectations of success, these differences are minor. Given the significant changes that have taken place in the last 12 years in terms of increasing female participation rates in the workforce and rethinking of what constitutes male and female roles, one should operate from the assumption that there is no significant difference as to job productivity between males and females. Similarly, there is no evidence indicating that an employee’s sex affects job satisfaction.

Age . On the first thought, the age of the teacher seems not to affect teaching. But when age is seen in terms of teacher-learner rapport of relationship, contemporaries of ideas, interests and values, it becomes more crucial than what people ordinarily think it to be. Chronological age affect the social, emotional and psychological state of the teacher and could affect his credibility with his students.

Gines (1998: 232-233) pointed out that “there is a great indication that decision-making skills improve with age”. It appears that the older adults are, the more likely they become more serious and thoughtful in their decision-making. This may hold true between younger and older leaders of any institution.

Robbins (1989: 43-44) stressed that the older one become, the less likely s/he is to quit his/her job. As workers get older they have fewer alternative job opportunities. In addition, older workers are less likely to resign because their longer tenure tends to provide them with higher wage rates, longer paid vacations and more attractive pension benefit. He further added that there is a widespread belief that productivity declines with age. It is often assumed that an individual’s skills – particularly speed, agility, strength and coordination, decay over time and that prolonged job boredom and lack of intellectual stimulation all contribute to reduce productivity.

Eligibility and Intelligence

A graduate of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering aims to grab the civil engineer license by passing the two-day civil engineering licensure examination administered by the Philippine Regulation Commission which is given twice a year, May and November. After passing, s/he will earn the title and can perform legally the work of a civil engineer. Most of the companies and industries here and abroad prefer licensed civil engineers to work in their companies. But still there are institutions that also hire even those without licenses.

Robbins (1989:48-49) define intellectual abilities as those needed to perform mental abilities. IQ tests, for example are designed to ascertain one’s intellectual abilities. So, too, are popular college admission tests. Some of the more relevant dimensions making up intellectual abilities include number aptitude, verbal comprehension, perceptual speed and inductive reasoning.

Robbins (1989:48-49) added that jobs differ in the demands they place on the incumbent to use their intellectual abilities. A high IQ may not be a pre-requisite for all jobs. In fact, a high IQ may be unrelated to performance. On the hand, a careful review of the evidence demonstrates that tests that assess verbal, numerical, spatial and perceptual abilities are valid predictors of job proficiency across all levels of jobs. So tests that measure specific dimensions of intelligence have been found to be strong predictors of job performance.

Test scores measure only test-taking skills. Unfortunately, test taking skills and job performance are very different. Job performance is based far more on motivation than intelligence. Differences in job performance depend more on training than intelligence (Robbins, 1989:75).

Examinations may be assembled or unassembled and tests maybe written, oral, physical, performance or testimonial, or a combination of these types. Such examinations may take into consideration experience, education, aptitude, capacity, knowledge, character, physical fitness and other factors which in the judgment of the Civil Service Commission determine the relative fitness of the applicant (CSC, Module 1).

Written civil service examination includes the Career Service Professional and Sub-professional categories, the CSEE and the specialized examinations requested by the different agencies or departments. The passing grade for all of the CSC written examinations except for examinations covered by special laws is at least 80% (CSC, Module 1).

Status of Employment. Extensive reviews of the seniority – productivity relationship have been conducted. While past performances tend to be related to output in a new position, seniority by itself is not a good predictor of productivity. In other words, holding all other things equal, there is no reason to believe that people who have been on a job longer are more productive than are those with less seniority (Robbins, 1989: 47).

Trainings. Beltran (2000:198) pointed out that provisions for training opportunities is as important as selection of employees. The goal of any training program is to develop specific skills, attitudes and capabilities to maximize the individual's job performance. It is the practice in most organization to require some sort of trainings for every new employee. Some organizations send their experienced executives to special institutions and seminars to learn the latest techniques of management and administration which they can apply to their jobs. Continuous training therefore is important in the career of an individual.

Experience. Lupdag (1984:57) stressed that experience is the best teacher. Observations also show that teachers who have more teaching experience got promoted more than the neophytes or those with fewer teaching years to back them up. The literature seems to support more or less a linear relationship of teaching experience and effective teaching. Robbins (1989:510) confirms the statement of Lupdag that experience is said to be a great teacher.

Highest Educational Qualification. There are indicators that academic qualifications, in this case, an advanced degree, affect student performance which is reflective of teaching. On the strong assumption that an advanced degree enhances a teacher’s effectiveness, many schools have faculty development programs (Lupdag, 1984:36).

Mismatches between the amount of education needed to perform current jobs and the amount of education possessed by members of the workforce are growing. Underemployment among college graduates threatens to erode job satisfaction and work motivation. As well-educated workers begin to look for jobs commensurate to their qualifications and expectations, absenteeism and turnover likely will increase (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004:54).

Certo (1994: 49) pointed out that the level of education has some effects to leaders. He cited that higher level of education provides some knowledge and skills that will be useful on the job. It also prepares individuals to learn more quickly the specific on-the-job knowledge they will need.

Gullas (Sunstar, February 14,2006) added that the country has to produce more professional engineers, including those armed with post-graduate degrees, in order to take the country to the next level of technical competence and keep the economy competitive in the global marketplace.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE:2001) encourages institutions of higher education, governmental units, employers, civil engineers and other appropriate organizations to endorse, support and promote the concept of mandatory post-baccalaureate education for the practice of civil engineering at a professional level. The implementation of this effort should occur though establishing appropriate curricula in the formal education experience, appropriate recognition and compensation in the workplace, and congruent standards for licensure.


Globalization is a term used to describe the increasing trend towards internationally-integrated markets and global interconnectors. The impacts of globalization which have been felt all over the world as advancers in communications, information technology and the mergence of international trade agreements have slowly removed the obstacles of trade and the transfer of information across national border (Wust, 2000).

Globalization is the trend associated with countries and organizations tapping into global networks of opportunity in the areas of marketing, finance and education. The global engineer is a key player in this paradigm. S/he contributes directly to issues of product development, world competitive manufacturing and systems engineering. In particular, the global design engineer steps beyond regional role to facilitate the provision of world competitive products and this process requires the possible understanding of international markets, culture and race (Green, 2000).

Globalization has empowered not only the industry, commerce and trade but the academe as well. Learning institutions specifically colleges and universities, must respond to the trend to make their products competitive in terms of skills and technology as identified by the needs of the society and the industry (Hagos, 2001:1).

Engineers are always instrumental in modernizing civilization. They invent, design and build roads, bridges, dams, buildings, computers and other things that make up modern civilization. Today, they are more important than ever because society depends on science and technology to keep it running and become more progressive (Basilio et. al., 2003:2).

Among the oldest fields of the engineering profession is Civil Engineering. The field is blessed with a very wide scope and almost unlimited opportunities. However, as a result of extensive studies on the fast emerging technological developments, specializations in Civil Engineering have been lost to new professions. The course has already given way to other specializations – Geodetic Engineering, Sanitary Engineering and even Plumbing. A new curriculum development paradigm is therefore needed to come up with the new courses necessary in this high technology era. Industry involvement is important in a meaningful implementation of curricular programs, in as much as rapidly changing disciplines and the advanced technology need help from them. Good curriculum design should include an industry needs-analysis (Hagos, 2001:1).

The engineering enterprise has become increasingly global. This means that an engineer faces stiffer competition than before. To compete for work in a global economy, an engineer must be technologically adept and must aim for top quality work. Our present educational system emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge rather than practical skills (Gepulango, 2001:2).

Societies throughout world are aware of the achievements in civil engineering. It is recognized world-wide that the civil engineer is one major instrument in development and change and plays a fundamental role in shaping the world. But development is now more and more a compromise between those which are technically possible, those which are considered economically attractive, and those which are acceptable on environmental grounds. The concept of sustainable development has emerged in the last decades of the 20th century and is gaining global acceptance (Mena, 2001:1).

In this connection, Michel and Smith (1998) showed in a report that an important ingredient for achieving competitive success is the establishment of effective collaborations with other customers, suppliers, high education establishment and so on. Such collaboration allows firms to expand their range of expertise, develop specialized products and achieve other corporate objectives. Collaboration is also one of the most important means of fostering innovation and effective competition in international markets.

As competition intensifies, education is required to measure and professionalize human resources in order to acquire new skills, new knowledge, and new attributes to meet the demands of the environment. Joel Griffin (1996) acknowledges that it is continuing education and professional development that sustain the engineering competency and versatility.

Rapid technology and industrialization development require well-skilled and knowledgeable human resources. In particular, the development of quality infrastructure projects depends heavily on the availability of professional knowledge workers and technocrats (Rialubin, 1998). Scheridan (1993) agrees that each organization must elevate the agility of its goals and the competitive environment in which it operates. There should be increased emphasis on highly trained, knowledgeable and empowered workers whose talents will significantly increase the organization’s flexibility to responsiveness.

At present, civil engineering education in the Philippines has faced insurmountable odds of vulnerability brought about by global competitiveness. With the strong commitment to the advancement of the civil engineering profession, The Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers is incessantly perpetuating its noble objectives focusing on upgrading civil engineering education through the advocacy of establishing a forum of civil engineering educators. It advances and implements dynamic programs that would ultimately be beneficial not only to its members but also to the upcoming civil engineers (Terante, 2002:1).

Global Demand

In Northland, the number of civil engineers employed in the Northland region is expected to increase moderately over the next three to five years. Employment opportunities are influenced by new industries being established in the region, improved interest rates and a favourable exchange rate. Engineering reports required for residential and commercial building, and requirements by local bodies for resource consent are also increasing the demand for civil engineers. In addition, people are becoming more creative with building design and positioning, further increasing their workload (Metarahi, 2002).

In Auckland, the number of civil engineers, which includes civil engineers, environmental engineers, water and soil engineers and coastal engineers, employed in the Auckland region is expected to grow moderately over the next three to five years. Employers in this region are experiencing difficulties hiring qualified and experienced engineers who are familiar with local conditions and the relevant engineering codes. The demand for civil engineers in the Auckland region is influenced by government funding for developing infrastructure, which is fairly stable, and the work of private property developers. Auckland's buoyant economy and growing population will also create a steady demand for other civil engineers. Civil engineers working in the Auckland region are usually employed full-time. It is often difficult to work less than 30 hours a week in this occupation because clients expect engineers to be readily available and meet tight deadlines. Also engineers often work in teams that are considered easier to manage if all members work full-time. A global shortage of civil engineers has resulted in many opportunities for New Zealand trained engineers to work overseas. As a result, turnover among graduate engineers is high as it is common for them to work two to three years in New Zealand and then move overseas to work to gain further experience. Despite this, turnover among civil engineers in this region is generally moderate to low (Metarahi, 2004).

The number of civil engineers employed in Canterbury is expected to grow moderately over the next three to five years. The property boom has created a shortage of experienced civil engineers across New Zealand including the Canterbury region. Employment opportunities are influenced by many factors including the state of the economy, business confidence, population change, government policy and changing technology. A buoyant economy, strong business confidence and Canterbury's growing population have all helped create the current high demand for civil engineers. Government spending on large projects like new hospitals, schools and infrastructure also requires the services of civil engineers. Civil engineers are usually employed full-time as there is a need to provide continuity on projects. Turnover among civil engineers in the Canterbury region is low and this trend is expected to continue over the next three to five years. Many graduates gain a few years work experience before traveling overseas to broaden their knowledge (Metarahi, 2003).

The future market for civil engineers looks promising as the globalization of markets, the advancement of information technology and the increase of world population continues to provide a growing opportunity for civil engineering projects in the global marketplace. It is estimated that over the next 10 to 15 years, the world population will increase by 1 billion. The increase in population will have the great impact on the health of the environment, the maintenance of infrastructure, waste management and other significant health and safety concerns that will need to be addressed by civil engineers. The demands placed on civil engineers over the next decade will move away from the traditional concept of engineering (Wust,2000:2).

Level of Competence

Communication Skills

Communication skills are essential for an engineer who aspires to carry out his/her professional practice in the global arena. Engineering communication skills basically constitute several core elements such as the fluency in the English language and the fundamentals of visual communication. English has become the ascendant language internationally, being the most widespread. This will influence the language of communication between and among professionals internationally. In this age of globalization, the number of international projects is increasing, and cross cultural communication and collaboration is on the rise; this is particularly so for the new international practice of engineering (Riemer, 2002:91-92).

Engineering graduates require an ever-increasing range of skills to maintain relevance with the global environment of the new millennium. Communication skills are vital component of this, as recognized by the academia and the industry alike. English language skills are also important given their widespread status across the globe as lingua franca. Indeed, multilingual skills are considered a salient element in the make-up of the new global engineer. English for specific purposes focuses the learner’s attention on the particular terminology and communication skills required in the international professional field. The impacts on communication skills development include various elements, including gender equality. A lack of sufficient communication skills serves only to undermine the image of the engineer, but this can be tackled by engaging features of emotional intelligence (EQ) in the education of engineers (Riemer, 2002:91).

There is ample evidence that graduate engineers lack the required standard of communication skills, particularly when compared to the needs of industry internationally (Jensen, 2000).

Globalization directly influences the industry’s needs; a global engineer must be able to easily cross national and cultural boundaries. This, in turn, directly affects engineering education. A common code for communication is required. Education institutions which meet the language requirements for the new global engineer, will be ready to face the new millennium (Riemer, 2000:91).

Language and communication skills are recognized as important elements in the education of the modern engineers, including English for specific purposes. Yet, there seems to be limited implementation of English courses globally, despite its current lingua franca status. Those institutions that have already implemented multilingual and communication elements will be at the forefront of providing the demands of industry and society (Riemer, 2000:99).

Northup (1980) said that their experience indicates that all engineering graduates need more training in communication with emphasis on clarity, organization, and brevity. Much experience and important work is lost in files crowded with reports describing conventional methodology without adequately recording conclusions or recommendations of the men who have been closest to the problems.

Kreitner and Kinicki (2004:527) stressed that the quality of interpersonal communication within an organization is very important. People with good communication skills helped groups to make more innovative decisions and were promoted more frequently than individuals with less developed abilities. Although, there is no universally accepted definition of communication competence, it is a performance-based index of an individual ability to effectively use communication behavior in a given context. He further added that communication competence is determined by three components: communication abilities and traits, situational factors and the individuals involved in the interaction.

Computer Skills

Technology is impacting on the skill requirements of other civil engineers. Computer-aided design (CAD) now allows them to effectively and efficiently produce and present three-dimensional designs. Turnover among civil engineers is low. Most are employed full-time as consultants and this is likely to continue over the next three to five years, although there may be more opportunities for part-time contract work. Civil engineering is a male-dominated industry, but this is likely to change as there has been an increase in the number of female graduates (Metarahi, 2002:1).

Computers have greatly increased the ability of students to perform calculations and to process large amount of data. As a result, the type and nature of problems and mathematical techniques taught in school may have to be changed or modified so that usefulness of the computer can be maximized in the teaching-learning process. This is especially true for civil engineering education where the computer has started to be recognized as a useful and important tool in civil engineering analysis and design (Oreta, 2001:1) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is now a global tool for development. We are moving rapidly towards an e-environment (Mena, 2001:1).

Computer softwares, especially for engineering, have become more powerful, robust and user-friendly. Consequently, it has become clear that integrating the use of computer software in the curriculum will be to the advantage of the students who will become future civil engineers. However, before adopting the computer in teaching, the professor needs to determine whether five pre-requisites for instructional use of computers have been met. This is summarized by Wankat and Oreovicz (1993) as: 1) accessibility of hardware and software to both the students and faculty, 2) the software must be reliable, robust and easy-to-use, 3) the faculty must have sufficient interest with the software, 4) there must be an advantage in the use of the computer software, and 5) students must be given some background on the use of the hardware and software (Oreta, 2001:1).

The computer can play a useful and important role in the teaching and learning of civil engineering concepts and application. Depending on the type of software used, the professor can design the course such that the computer can be used advantageously to increase the understanding of engineering concepts and to develop sound judgment in students. Since the development of faster and more affordable computer will be the trend, it is necessary that civil engineering schools should increase the awareness in students on the significant role computers play on education and in the industry (Oreta, 2001:1).

The ability to integrate new computing tools in engineering processes is of great importance because it will serve as a link between the industry and the skills acquired by the student through new technology. Nowadays, industries are using new computing software to improve efficiency, accuracy and productivity and thereby maximize use of time, money and effort. Information technology devices should be viewed positively as an essential tool for connecting one system to the others worldwide. Schools should acquire facilities in information technology to cope up with this demand. There are new quality engineering multimedia materials available in the market consisting of video course, CDs, nooks and manuals encompassing almost all fields of engineering. Some of these curriculum-based multimedia materials are relevant to prepare colleges for global accreditation and excellence in the new millennium (Hagos, 2001:4).

Destura (2004) stressed that, in the Philippines, the adoption of a particular innovation, is not a fact as may be desired even if such is becoming a universal practice in view of its significance to education, due to some limitations. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) promotion is a complex task that used careful and efficient steps considering the meager budget allotted to state institutions by the national government.

He further pointed out that to survive the onslaught of change, institution must find new ways to deliver better education to students. The use of information technology, particularly internet, can contribute to solving some of the challenges. In advanced countries, the use of information technology or electronic learning has dramatically changed and improved the nature of teaching and learning. The internet has created virtual classrooms which educators and students can visit anytime and from nowhere (Destura, 2004).

According to Carague (2000), access to computer technology is a major issue. There are several strategies that can be used to provide support for student access to computers. One is to provide computer labs on campus for students. Another strategy to increase the accessibility of computers and networks for learners are the development of government-funded educational networks, through contract leasing or bulk buying of telecommunications services, tax breaks for students on computer purchase, and the development of local community learning centers equipped with advanced technologies.

Managerial Skills

Fajardo (1988:65-66) stressed that Filipino workers are considered by many overseas employers as some of the world’s best. It should also be noted that many Filipino managers today have been schooled in the best American and European universities of management. However, these two groups seem to excel in other countries than in their own country.

According to Rialubin et. al. (2003), all areas, under managerial skills have been perceived by the respondents as much needed factors in their job as engineers. Since most of the respondents are already occupying top positions, they need all these qualities to be able to manage their people. This signifies that they are able to cope with demands, new problems and new challenges.


Excerpt out of 163 pages


Level of Competence of Civil Engineers in the Philippines
Its Projects for Employment and Implications for curricular Improvement
University of the Philippines  (Graduate School)
Educational Management
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
1232 KB
competence, civil engineer, curriculum, dissertation, global competence
Quote paper
Florante Jr Poso (Author), 2007, Level of Competence of Civil Engineers in the Philippines, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/371040


  • No comments yet.
Look inside the ebook
Title: Level of Competence of Civil Engineers in the Philippines

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free