The United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) is the duly accredited IAPOA (Integrated and Accredited Professional Organization of Architects) by the PRC.
This presentation was prepared by the Commission on Professional Practice under Ar. Peach Buencamino, uap, so that UAP members will be enlightened on how UAP became the IAPOA and why the UAP membership certificate is being required by the PRC in the renewal of PRC IDs.
Is the payment of annual dues a necessary consequence of membership in the organization (UAP) as per RA 9266 and its IRR?
The payment of dues is a necessary consequence of membership in UAP. Section 40 of the Architecture Act of 2004, (RA 9266) expressly provides for such payment, thus:
“Section 40. Integration of the Architecture Profession – The Architecture profession shall be integrated into one (1) national organization which shall be accredited by the Board, subject to the approval by the Commission, as the integrated and accredited professional organization of architects: Provided, however, That such an organization shall be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as a non-profit, non-stock corporation to be governed by by-laws providing for a democratic election of its officials. An architect duly registered with the Board shall automatically become a member of the integrated and accredited professional organization of architects and shall receive the benefits and privileges provided for in this Act upon payment of the required fees and dues. Membership in the integrated and accredited professional organization of architects shall not be a bar to membership in other associations of architects." (Underscoring supplied)
Is membership in any chapter not compulsory because it is not part of RA9266?
It is arguable that UAP may validly require membership in a local chapter if it is provided in UAP's by-laws and it is not unduly unreasonable or oppressive.
Section 40 of RA 9266 provides that "(a)n architect duly registered with the Board shall automatically become member of the integrated and accredited professional organization of architects and shall receive the benefits and privileges provided for in this Act upon payment of the required fees and dues." However, it also provides that the integrated and accredited professional organization of architects (i.e., UAP) shall be a "non-profit, non-stock corporation to be governed by by-laws". This may be taken to mean that the UAP has sufficient discretion on how to organize itself in the manner it deems most appropriate and conducive to its goals as an organization. As long as the organizational set-up it adopts is set forth in the By-Laws and will not bring undue hardship or unreasonable demands on its members, said organizational set-up should be deemed valid.
According to UAP's By-Laws, the organizational set-up adopted by UAP involves a national organization with local chapters (Article III). The By-Laws also require a member to be a member of a Chapter: "Every Regular Member shall be a member of a Chapter of his choice, whether on the basis of residence, place of work or place relevant to his practice, or for other reasons, where applicable." (Article II, Section 5.3). This set-up is reasonable, as it is intended for a valid objective or purpose: "A Chapter of the UAP is created for the purpose of promoting maximum participation of all members in UAP affairs and advancing the objectives of the organization." (Article III, Section 1).
It can be added that the requirement of Chapter membership is not an unreasonable one and is not necessarily inconsistent with the concept of "automatic membership" under Section 40 of RA No. 9266, considering that a UAP Chapter is not actually an entity separate or independent from UAP. The Chapters are still part of the UAP; they are merely organizational units of UAP created to help achieve UAP's purposes as an organization.
Is there validity on the PRBoA resolution requiring the presentation of the official receipt of payment of membership fee, certification of payment thereof or certificate of good standing, as a requirement for the issuance of the certificate of registration and/or issuance of professional identification card or renewal thereof?
Can the PRBoA impose the requirement that an architect must first pay his membership fees and dues to his accredited professional organization (UAP) and present an official receipt for such payment or a Certificate of Good Standing or a Certificate of Membership from UAP (which presupposes payment of membership dues and fees) before the PRC can register him as a professional and issue a Certificate of Registration/License and Professional Identification Card or renewal thereof?
Will this PRBoA imposed requirement not violate the provision of RA No. 8981 and the fundamental freedom of choice guaranteed to any individual by the Constitution?
The extent of authority of the PRBoA relies vis-avis the power of the PRC "to register or license an otherwise qualified professional or issue or renew his Professional ID card," under Section 7 of RA No. 8981.
RA No. 9266 provides for automatic membership of the architect in the integrated and accredited professional organization. The law also provides for certain conditions, such as registration and payment of required fees for one to become a member of the integrated and accredited professional organization (UAP). For which reason, there appears to be no conflict should the PRBoA would require presentation of official receipt as evidence of payment of fees and dues.
Citing the Supreme Court ruling in the case of In the matter of the IBP membership Dues Delinquency of Atty. M.A. Exxxxxxx (101 SCRA 612):
xxx (M)ay we state, at this point, that in the case involving the same issue of payment of membership dues, the Supreme Court ruled that "what must ever be borne in mind is that membership in the bar, to follow Cardozo is a privilege burdened with conditions. Failure to abide by any of them entails the loss of such privilege if the gravity thereof warrants such drastic move." Here, it shows that just like any other practice of professions, payment of IBP membership dues is a condition that is stressed by the court.
In statutory construction, nothing is more basic than rule that when the language of the law is clear and unequivocal, the law must be taken to mean exactly what it says. The law must be interpreted literally and given effect as that literal meaning thereof is conclusively presumed to be the meaning that the Legislature intended. Until such time that the law on the matter is amended and/or repealed, there exist the duty to implement the same.
Moreover, as regards the power of the PRBoA that adopted said resolution, the rule is settled that the Congress may validly delegate to administrative agencies, which ought to know the law, the authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given legislation and effectuate its policies after due deliberation. Said rules and regulations promulgated in pursuance of an authority conferred by law partake of the nature of a statute since they may be said to be the product of a delegated power to create new or additional legal provisions that have the force and effect of law.
In adopting/issuing the said PRBoA Resolution, the Board merely exercised their authority to provide certain conditions and regulations to give effect to the laws which they seek to implement. For while the rule-making power of the Boards cannot be extended to amending or expanding the statutory requirement or to embrace matters not covered by the statute, they are not, however, precluded from validly providing regulations necessary to effectively and efficiently implement their respective laws, subject only to the conditions that the rules are germane to the objects and purposes of the law, conform to the standards that the law prescribes, and must relate solely to carrying into effect the general provisions of the law. There is no showing that in passing the Resolution, the PRBoA exceeded the limits of their power, much less failed to meet the aforesaid conditions.
Thus, unless and until the provisions empowering the Board to impose certain conditions are repealed or otherwise removed from the law (RA 9266), there is no reason to say that the PRBoa Resolution requiring presentation of the official receipt of payment of membership fee, certification of payment thereof or certificate of good standing, as a requirement for the issuance of the certificate of registration and/or issuance of professional identification card or renewal thereof is not valid.