Experiences outside the Philippines, particularly in the Oil & Gas industry, help me analyze and compare the practice of Electrical Engineering in the Philippines to some developed countries particularly those using the IEC as a standard.

In the Philippines, Electrical Engineering has almost always been a third class profession. To make matters worst, there has been a proliferation of non-qualified Electrical practitioners who are willing to accept lower fees to bait on unsuspecting clients in exchange for a sub-standard work in the detriment of the client and the Electrical engineering profession as a whole.

In case of accidents, particularly, fires, what is the number one cause, "FAULTY ELECTRICAL WIRING". True or not, this is a sign that there has not been an excellent work on the Electrical aspect of the construction.

A very common example will be, a client who is planning to construct a PhP 5Million dream house. How much do you think will this client be willing to spend on the electrical aspect of the dream house? My best guess will be PhP 100,000. That is only 2% of the total construction cost.

What will be happening here? The contractor will:

  • Prepare the electrical plans themselves even if they are not qualified.
  • Have the electrical plans sealed and signed by a PEE who has been dead for 10 years now.
  • Buy sub-standard electrical materials
  • Employ unqualified electricians.
  • Pay bribe to the electrical inspection to sign the compliance certificate
  • and many more...

In case of fire, what is the cause? Faulty electrical wiring.

Let us accept, this is a fact in the Philippine setting. Electrical safety compliance or simply safety is not being implemented. Why? It comes with a cost which clients are not willing to pay particularly for the electrical engineering aspect of their construction.

Fires due to "Faulty Electrical Wiring", whose fault is it?

  • The clients (owners) - because they have not budgeted enough for electrical aspect of their project.
  • Contractors - they have not enlightened their client about the substandard materials and workmanship due to lack of budget.
  • Electrical Inspectors - because they accepted bribes in exchange for not doing their task properly.
  • ElectricalPractitioners - because they fail to police this illicit acts against the profession.

In the first world, Safety is Number 1. That is the difference.