PSME National Christmas Party
By Fernando S. Guevara, BME Member
December 14, 2015
Christmas Greetings to the Officers and Members of the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers.
I am honored to be speaking to you today.
When I was asked to be the Guest Speaker I was wondering how I can inspire you with the present situation of PSME. During my high school days after school, I often chose to play chess with the “barberos” located just across my school instead of congregating with my classmates. And whenever they saw me in the “barberya” they allowed me to play chess with them. I found the “barberos” fascinating because there are always stories to be told from serious politics to plain “tsismis”. I guess this was what fascinated me. But what intrigued me were their opinions and suggestions after the discussion. This is what I am today a chess-playing “barbero” and this is maybe how you will think of me today. And this could have inspired me to write a book on EPIRA Law.
Today, our profession is again challenged. There are a lot of discussions going around on how to deal with the situation. However, the basic fact is this: The BME accredited PSME as the Accredited Professional Organization of Mechanical Engineers (APO) in accordance with RA 8495 specifically Section 23. This accreditation to PSME comes with “great authority together with great responsibility”. It is about time the National and Chapter officers think and act with great responsibility and not with great authority. Taking an oath as an officer is accepting the responsibility to take care of the needs of the members. The authority given to the officers must be used to protect the welfare of the members. PSME should not be only about conventions and CPD it should be more about taking care of the members.
Take the case of a large medical center in Davao City. When I was with the PRC Regional Director of Southern Mindanao, I asked why the hospital does not have a PME despite there are three (3) RMEs working for the last 15 years, the RMEs told me they do not have the money to apply for the PME license. I asked them how much they are supposed to pay. They told me that they will need about Php 100,000.00. The Director and I were surprised and the Director was speechless for a few seconds. I told the Director to process their application for only Php 900.00. This kind of situation is not taking care of the members but taking advantage of the members. Also, there are many complaints about the Certification of Good Standing (COGS) and the Board of Mechanical Engineers (BME) is being asked to solve these complaints, but the fact is this is supposed to be a concern for PSME.
This is a reflection of how the PSME now functions.
And now we have an issue of national leadership where one party has chosen to go to court to resolve the issue instead of asking the BME to resolve the issue. And by doing so both parties seem not to trust the BME with fairness. This is the BME understanding because of previous experience that members no longer see the difference. We just allow the system to work without drastically changing our mindset on the purpose on why we are officers and members of the PSME. We have an election process that always ends in controversy and worse, end up in courts. This has always been the way since I can remember. When I was a Director of PSME Makati way back during the time of Engr. Alberto Dosayla and Engr. Bayani Bueser there were also issues about national elections. So serious as to affect the Chapter Level that I decided to lie low for many years.
PSME needs a major electoral reform. So My advice is We must not be afraid to challenge the norm. We must be willing to take a chance. We must always Ask why. We must Make our own track, not just following the old trodden past. We must Chart our own course and destiny. We must be willing to make Sacrifices And the most important we must start Being the members and officers of PSME that we were meant to be.
Finally, let’s be different this time.
Thank you and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.