REPUBLIC ACT NO. 4374
AN ACT TO REGULATE THE PRACTICE OF GEODETIC ENGINEERING IN THE PHILIPPINES
SECTION 1. Short Title of Act. —
This Act shall be known as the "Geodetic Engineering Law".
SECTION 2. Geodetic Engineer. —
Any person who is technically and legally qualified to practise geodetic engineering under this Act shall be known "geodetic engineer", which term shall supersede "surveyor", in accordance with this Act.
SECTION 3. Creation and Composition of the Board. —
There is hereby created a Board of Examiners for Geodetic Engineers hereinafter referred to as the Board, to be composed of a Chairman and two Members, all to be appointed by the President of the Philippines with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, upon the recommendation of the Commissioner of Civil Service from among the registered practising geodetic engineers of recognized standing in the Philippines as certified to by any officially recognized association of geodetic engineers in the Philippines and possessing the qualifications prescribed in section five of this Act. The first members of the Board shall be appointed within two years from the approval of this Act; Provided, That the present Board of Examiners for Surveyors shall continue to function in lieu of the new Board until the members of the latter shall have been appointed and qualified.
SECTION 4. Powers and duties of the Board. —
The Board is vested with the authority, conformably with the provisions of this Act, to:
Administer the provisions of this Act;
Administer oaths in connection with the administration of this Act;
Issue, suspend or revoke certificates of registration for the practice of geodetic engineering;
Study the conditions affecting geodetic engineering courses and training and the practice of the geodetic engineering profession in the Philippines, and exercise the powers conferred upon it by this and other Acts with a view to the maintenance of efficient, ethical, technical, moral and professional standards in the practice of geodetic engineering;
Study and examine, in cooperation with the Department of Education, the facilities of schools, colleges or universities seeking permission to open courses or already offering courses in geodetic engineering to see to it that the essential requirements, including the employment of qualified faculty members, are properly complied with;
Recommend the opening of colleges or schools in geodetic engineering to the Department of Education or other entity concerned with the granting of school permits or authorization;
Investigate violations of this Act and, for this purpose, issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum to secure attendance of witnesses and the production of documents in connection with the charges presented to and/or any investigation pending before the Board; and if any person shall refuse to obey any subpoena so issued or shall refused to testify or produce any book, document, or other pertinent evidence required thereunder, the Board may petition the proper Court of First Instance setting forth the facts and thereupon such court shall, in a proper case, issue a subpoena to said person, requiring him to appear before the Board, and thereto testify and/or produce such books, papers, documents or other pertinent evidence as may be required by such subpoena. Any person failing or refusing to obey the subpoena or order of the said court shall be held liable in the same manner as for refusal to obey any other subpoena or order of the court.
Recommend or adopt, whenever necessary, such measures as may be deemed proper for the advancement of the profession and for the proper enforcement of this Act.
SECTION 5. Qualification of Board Members. —
Each member of the Board must, at the time of his appointment, be:
A citizen and resident of the Philippines;
At least thirty-one years of age and of good moral character;
A registered geodetic engineer under this Act;
Actually in active practice of the Geodetic Engineering or Surveying profession for at least ten years in or outside of the government service;
Not a member of the faculty of any school, institute, college or university where a regular course in Geodetic Engineering or Surveying is taught, or if he has been such a faculty member, he has stopped teaching therein for at least three consecutive years immediately preceding his appointment; and
Not pecuniarily interested, directly or indirectly, in any school, institute, college or university where a regular course in Geodetic Engineering is taught.
SECTION 6. Term of Office. —
The members of the Board shall hold office for a term of three years: Provided, That the first appointee to the Board shall hold office for the following terms: the Chairman for three years, one member for two years, and one member for one year. Any vacancy occurring within the term of a member shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term only. Each member of the Board shall qualify by taking the proper oath prior to the assumption of office.
SECTION 7. Executive Officer and Secretary of the Board. —
The Commissioner of Civil Service shall be the executive officer of the Board, and shall conduct the examination given by it according to the rules and regulations promulgated by him and approved by the President of the Philippines. The Secretary of the Board of Examiners appointed in accordance with section ten of Act Numbered Four Thousand Seven, as amended by Republic Act Numbered Five Hundred and Forty-six, shall also be the Secretary of the Board. All the records of the Board, including examination papers, minutes of deliberations and records of administrative proceedings and investigations, shall be kept by the Commissioner of Civil Service.
SECTION 8. Compensation of the Board. —
The members of the Board shall each receive as compensation a fee of ten pesos for each applicant examined and ten pesos for each certificates of registration granted without prior examination.
SECTION 9. Removal of Board Members. —
The President of the Philippines may, upon recommendation of the Commissioner of Civil Service, suspend or remove any member of the Board for continued neglect of duty, incompetence, commission or tolerance of irregularities in the examination, malpractice, or unprofessional or dishonorable conduct, after having given the member concerned an opportunity to be heard and/or defend himself in a proper administrative investigation.
SECTION 10. Rules and Regulations. —
The Board may, subject to the approval of the Commissioner of Civil Service and of the President of the Philippines, promulgate such rules, regulations, and code of ethics as may be necessary to carry out the provision of this Act. After its approval, the rules, regulations or code of ethics shall be published in the Official Gazette. Penal provisions may be included in said rules and/or regulations, the violations of which shall be punishable by a fine of not more than two hundred pesos or an imprisonment for not more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the court.
SECTION 11. Annual Report. —
The Board shall submit an annual report to the President of the Philippines after the close of each fiscal year, giving a detailed account of its proceedings during the year and embodying such recommendations as it may deem proper.
SECTION 12. Inhibition against practice of Geodetic Engineering. —
No person shall practice or offer to practice geodetic engineering in the Philippines as defined in this Act, or use the title "Geodetic Engineer" or any word, letter, figure or sign whatsoever, tending to convey the impression that he is a geodetic engineer, or advertise or indicate in any manner that he is qualified to perform the work of a geodetic engineer without holding a valid certificate of registration as geodetic engineer issued by the Board in accordance with this Act.
SECTION 13. Definition and scope of terms. —
Any person, except geodetic engineering or surveying students and graduates who perform geodetic engineering work under the supervision of a registered geodetic engineer-instructor for the purpose of training, shall be deemed to be practicing geodetic engineering within the meaning and intent of this Act, who shall, with or without, fee, salary or other reward or compensation:
Perform professional services as geodetic engineer; or
Survey and prepare plan of land for registration in the registry of property without a registered geodetic engineer's supervision; or
Undertake any work in which a transit, theodolite, and/or tape is used, for purposes of property registration;
Survey and prepare topographic, hydrographic and economic maps for social, economic and engineering studies or planning; or
Be engaged as instructor or professor in a technical subject in any geodetic engineering course in any school or college; Provided, That this provision shall not apply to military or nautical schools.
SECTION 14. Examination required. —
Except as otherwise permitted under this Act, all applicants for registration for the practice of geodetic engineering shall undergo a technical examination as provided for herein.
SECTION 15. Qualifications of Applicants. —
In order to be admitted to the geodetic engineering examination, an applicant must, at the time of filing his application thereof, establish to the satisfaction of the Board that:
He is at least twenty-one years of age;
He is a citizen of the Philippines, or a foreigner qualified to take the examination under section thirty-one of this Act;
He is in good health and of good moral character; and
He is a holder of the degree of Bachelor of Science in Geodetic Engineering from any school, institute, college or university recognized by the Government: Provided, That said standard course includes Mathematics, Physical Sciences; Laws on Natural Resources, Land Registration and Property, and the Land Reform Code; Plane Surveying, including isolated, mineral and cadastral land surveys; Railroad Curves, and Earthworks; Hydrographic and Topographic Surveying; Geodesy, including Geodetic Surveying, Geodetic Astronomy, Geodetic Triangulation, Geodetic Levelling, Gravity Measurements, and Least Squares; Photogrammetry and Cartography: Provided, further, That within three years after the approval of this Act, holders of a certificate of Associate in Surveying, with at least one year field experience under a licensed geodetic engineer, shall be qualified to take the geodetic engineering examination.
SECTION 16. Holding of Examination. —
Examination for candidates desiring to practice geodetic engineering in the Philippines shall be given by the Board twice a year in the City of Manila or at such other place as may be deemed necessary and expedient by the Board, subject to the approval of the Commissioner of Civil Service and the President of the Philippines.
SECTION 17. Scope of Examination. —
The Examination of the practice of geodetic engineering in the Philippines shall consist of written tests, which shall cover mathematics, theory and practical problems in surveying including problems in isolated, cadastral and mineral land surveys, cartography, laws on property and registration of title thereto, geodesy and other subjects which the Board may prescribe for the standard curriculum as approved by the Department of Education.
SECTION 18. Ratings in the Examination. —
In order to pass the examination, a candidate must obtain an average rating of seventy per cent, with no rating below fifty percent in any subject: Provided, That an applicant, who fails to obtain a passing average rating but who obtained at least seventy percent in each of at least one-half (1/2) of the total subjects given in the examination, may be permitted to take within two years from the date of his first examination, another examination on the subjects in which he obtained a grade below seventy percent. Should the examinee still fail in the set of subjects repeated in the second examination, he shall be required to take all the subjects in the next examination.
SECTION 19. Report of Results of Examination. —
The Board shall, within one hundred and twenty days after the examination, report the result thereof to the Commissioner of Civil Service, who shall, with his recommendation, submit such result to the President of the Philippines for approval.
SECTION 20. Issuance of Certificates. —
A Certificate of registration for geodetic engineer shall be issued to any applicant who passes the examination after the approval of his ratings by the President of the Philippines and upon payment of the required fees: Provided, That upon payment of the required fees, the Board may issue within a period of not exceeding two years from the approval of this Act, a certificate of registration as geodetic engineer, without the necessity of undergoing the examination herein prescribed, to any applicant who, on the date of the approval of this Act:
Is a holder of a registration certificate as private, or mineral, or cadastral land surveyor granted under Act Numbered Thirty-six Hundred and Twenty-Six as Amended; or
Is a graduate of a recognized course in surveying and has passed the Civil Service examination as assistant surveyor, or surveyor, or assistant mineral land surveyor, or mineral land surveyor, or senior cartographer, or supervising computer, and has practiced field surveying for at least twenty years in and/or out of the government service; or
Is a commissioned line officer of the Bureau of Coast and Geodetic Survey or a retired officer of the said Bureau who have had at least five (5) years of continuous active service as a commissioned line officer at the time of his retirement.
Every certificate of registration shall show the full name of the registrant with a serial number, and shall be signed by the members of the Board, attested to by the Secretary of the Board of Examiners and duly authenticated by the official seal of the Board.
The certificate of registration issued by the Board to the registrant shall be evidence that the person named therein is entitled to the rights and privileges of a registered geodetic engineer while said certificate remains in force or unrevoked.
SECTION 21. Oath of Geodetic Engineers. —
All registrants under this Act shall be required to take a professional oath before the Board or before any person authorized to administer oaths, before commencing the practice of his profession.
SECTION 22. Seal of Geodetic Engineers. —
Each registered geodetic engineer shall obtain a seal of such design as the Board shall authorize and prescribe. Plans and technical descriptions prepared by or under the direct supervision of a registered geodetic engineer shall be stamped with said seal. The geodetic engineer shall be fully responsible for all plans, technical descriptions, and other documents under his seal or authorized signature. The Board shall make all necessary rules and regulations relating to the use of authorized signatures and seals on plans, maps, technical and lot descriptions, reports and other survey returns and documents registered by geodetic engineers.
SECTION 23. Fees for examination and registration. —
Every applicant for the examination shall pay an examination fee of forty-five pesos, and a registration fee of ten pesos.
Every applicant for registration without prior examination shall pay a fee of fifty-five pesos.
The fee for a duplicate certificate shall be ten pesos.
Every practicing Geodetic Engineer shall pay an annual registration fee of two pesos which shall be paid on or before April 30 of every ensuing year.
All fees shall be paid to the disbursing officer of the Board of Examiners, and such officer shall pay from the receipts thereof all the authorized expenses of the Board, including the compensation of each member.
SECTION 24. Refusal to issue a certificate in certain cases. —
The Board shall refuse to issue a certificate of registration to any person convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of any crime involving moral turpitude, to any person of immoral or dishonorable conduct, and to any person of unsound mind, furnishing the party concerned with a written statement containing the reason or reasons for such action, which statement shall be incorporated in the records of the Board.
SECTION 25. Revocation and suspension of certificates. —
The Board shall also have the power to revoke or suspend the validity of a certificate of registration as Geodetic Engineer issued to any registrant for any of the causes mentioned in the preceding section, or for unprofessional or unethical conduct, malpractice, incompetence, or where fraud, deceit or false statement was employed in obtaining said certificate of registration.
SECTION 26. Appeal from Judgment. —
The decision of the Board of Examiners for Geodetic Engineers shall become final after thirty days from the date of its promulgation, unless within said period any interested party has perfected an appeal to the Office of the Commissioner of Civil Service by filing a notice of appeal. The decision of the Commissioner of Civil Service is appealable, within thirty days from receipt of a copy of such decision, to the Office of the President of the Philippines whose decision shall be final.
SECTION 27. Reinstatement and replacement of Certificates. —
The Board may, upon application and for reasons of equity and justice, reinstate the validity of a suspended certificate, or issue another certificate in lieu of one previously revoked, upon payment of the required fees, at least two years after such suspension or revocation.
A new certificate of registration to replace any certificate lost, destroyed or mutilated, may be issued subject to the rules of the Board and upon payment of the required fee.
SECTION 28. Corporation cannot register. —
The practice of geodetic engineering is a professional service, admission to which shall be determined upon the basis of individual and personal qualifications. No firm, company, partnership, association or corporation may be registered or licensed as such for the practice of geodetic engineering: Provided, That this section shall not be construed as preventing any combination of geodetic engineers from using the term "Geodetic Engineer"; Provided, further, That majority of the members of the partnership, firm or association are properly registered and licensed geodetic engineers.
Members of the partnership, firm or association are responsible for their own individual acts.
SECTION 29. Penal Provisions. —
The following shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred pesos nor more than five thousand pesos, or by imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than six years, or both, in the discretion of the Court:
Any person not exempt from registration who shall practice geodetic engineering in the Philippines within the meaning of this Act, without holding a valid certificate of registration issued in accordance with this Act;
Any person who shall give any false or fraudulent statement to the Board in order to obtain a certificate of registration as geodetic engineer;
(c) Any person who shall present or use as his own a certificate of registration issued to another under this Act:
Any person who shall use a revoked or suspended certificate of registration as geodetic engineer;
Any person who shall assume, use or advertise as geodetic engineer, or append to his name, letters or words tending to convey the impression that he is a registered geodetic engineer when in fact he is not duly registered with the Board as such;
Any geodetic engineer, or any person on his behalf, who shall stamp or seal any document with his seal after his certificate of registration has expired or has been suspended or revoked;
Any geodetic engineer who shall sign his name, affix his seal, or use any other method of signature on plans, technical descriptions, or other documents prepared by or under another geodetic engineer's supervision, unless the same is prepared in such a manner as to clearly indicate the part or parts of such work actually performed by the former;
Any person, except the geodetic engineer in charge, who shall sign for any branch of the surveying work, or any function or surveying practice not actually performed by him; and
Any person who shall violate any provision of this Act.
SECTION 30. Enforcement of this Act by officers of the law. —
It shall be the duty of all duly constituted officers of the law, of the National Government or of any provincial, city or municipal government, to enforce the provisions of this Act and to prosecute any person violating the same. The Secretary of Justice shall act as legal adviser to the Board and shall render such legal assistance as may be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this Act.
SECTION 31. Foreign Reciprocity. —
No foreigner shall be admitted to examination or registration as geodetic engineer under this Act unless he proves in the manner provided for by the Rules of Court that, by specific provisions of law, the country of which he is a citizen, subject or national, admit Filipino citizens to the practice of geodetic engineering after an examination on terms of strict and absolute equality with the citizens, subjects or nationals of said country, including the unconditional recognition of prerequisite degrees issued by institutions of learning duly recognized by the Government of the Philippines.
SECTION 32. Repealing Clause. —
All laws, executive orders, rules, regulations or parts thereof in conflict with the provision of this Act, are hereby repealed or amended accordingly.
SECTION 33. Separability of Provisions. —
If any provision of this Act or any portion thereof is declared unconstitutional by any competent court, the other provisions thereof shall not be affected thereby.
SECTION 34. Effectivity. —
This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Approved: June 19, 1965