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CHED: Filipino engineers, architects not in danger of losing jobs in Qatar

Janvic Mateo (Philstar.com) - February 3, 2016 - 11:53pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has allayed fears of some 12,000 Filipino engineers and architects who were reportedly in danger of losing their jobs in Qatar.

CHED chairperson Patricia Licuanan personally met high-level Qatari officials earlier this week to discuss the problems faced by Filipino engineers and architects in the Middle Eastern country.

“The results of the visit were most positive and productive. The worst fears of Filipinos losing their jobs in Qatar are unfounded,” Licuanan said in a statement.

The CHED chief, along with Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) acting chairperson Angeline Chua Chiaco, went to Qatar on Sunday amid concerns raised by Filipinos who were prevented from registering with the country’s Urban Planning and Development Authority (UPDA).

Qatari law requires all practicing engineers and architects to be registered with the UPDA. However, Filipinos were prevented from registration as they lack the usual 12 years of basic education, making their Bachelor’s degrees to be considered only as equivalent of a diploma.

Licuanan, Chiaco and Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Wilfredo Santos met with Qatar’s Minister of Education and Higher Education Mohd A. Alhamadi, along with other education officials, to discuss the matter.

“Clearly the Qatari government does not want to lose the Filipino professionals who are a most valuable resource in the country,” said Licuanan.

“While the government is now serious about implementing the 2005 law requiring registration, they are willing to make accommodations for the lacking years in the Philippine education cycle,” she added.

Licuanan said the UPDA has agreed to accept for registration all applicants who graduated from institutions that are on a list of approved Philippine higher education institutions.

“CHED will provide them with an expanded list of recognized programs. Graduation from an institution in the approved list along with the possession of a PRC license will qualify professionals to apply for registration,” she added.

The CHED chief said registration examination can be taken four times.

“In the unlikely event that the applicant fails the fourth attempt, this will not necessarily result in losing one’s job but one’s title may have to be changed. The deadlines for accomplishing the registration process are flexible,” she added.

The Philippine delegation also reiterated its previous invitation for a Qatari delegation to visit the Philippines to understand the education program in the country.

CHED said the visit will be scheduled in a few month.

“A Memorandum of Agreement in Education between Qatar and the Philippines is being discussed,” added the agency.

A MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT ACIRC ANGELINE CHUA CHIACO CHIACO AND PHILIPPINE AMBASSADOR CLEARLY THE QATARI EDUCATION HIGHER EDUCATION LICUANAN MIDDLE EASTERN MINISTER OF EDUCATION AND HIGHER EDUCATION MOHD A QATARI
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