PIEP International Cluster launched DLUP information drive for EnP aspirants



Awareness is key to do something out of the ordinary which the PIEP International Cluster (Qatar and KSA) advocated during the first informational campaign for environmental/urban planners held on June 24, 2022, in partnership with the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) – Faculty of Management and Development Studies Alumni foundation Inc.


Respected planners, experts, leaders, and participants from various organizations across the world have met with the sole objective of enhancing their competencies and pursuing careers in environmental planning. It was a highly informative webinar entitled, "Build a Career in Environmental Planning: Upgrading our Competencies" conducted through the kind assistance of POLO-OWWA Labor Attaché’ Hon. Adam Musa, Hon. Antonio M. Mutuc Jr., PPOQ Chairman Engr. Mark Abendan, PPO CRSA Chairman Engr. Mories R. Galuso, the National Board of Trustees, Enp Maria Ana Pulido and EnP Levy Espinas who also delivered their inspirational messages and media partners Qabayan Radio 94.3 and KSA’ I-Radio who supported the announcement of the event.


The objective of this webinar is to raise awareness of environmental planners and to inspire participants to enrol in and finish the Diploma in Land Use Planning (DLUP) offered by the UPOU as a gateway to become an environmental planner. Around 700 professionals from diverse fields registered of which more than 150 have joined via Zoom while the rest connected thru facebook live broadcast.


President of PIEP KSA, Enp Eldrid Refil, officially opened the webinar and motivated the attendees to become full-pledged environmental planners. The enthusiastic masters of ceremonies in the persons of EnP Virgilio Jak Cañete and EnP Dennis Mota moderated the event with such ease and gusto which catapulted the success of the event. A moment of silence was observed in honor of the late EnP Virgo Ibarra, one of the charter members of PIEP Qatar during the opening ceremony followed by a video montage on environmental planning courtesy of the graphics design team.



All of the participants were very keen on the presentations by the honored speakers. The professional and personal experiences of EnP Jeantte-Elevado Cruz – Director of Environment, Land Use & Urban Development Bureau under the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), have shown the difficulties of being EnP. She shared her life's most challenging yet inspiring story on deciding against attending NPA and pursued her academic pursuits which eventually earned her a BS in environmental planning and passed the board exam, worked her way up from an environmental planner to director of DHSUD.


She also spoke on important occurrences and laws pertaining to environmental planning practice in the Philippines, the significance of RA 10587 for 2013 environmental planning and provided information about the EnPs' practice area, to name a few. She even went over the requirements for taking the board exam and advised taking a diploma program to qualify. She outlined the job opportunities in government, pay scale, from division chief down to entry-level posts in the government.


Meanwhile, Dr. Dina Magnaye, the current dean of University of the Philippines School of Urban and Regional Planning (UP SURP), presented the results of research entitled “Equal opportunity for aspiring environmental planners through open and distance learning.” The study was conducted with Ms. Jichele Urma, a research assistant from the UP Open University Faculty of Management and Development Studies, for an international conference on open and distance learning (ODL) in October 2021.


She spoke on the objectives and principles of open and distance learning, its features, and the roles of higher education stakeholders. She also discussed ODL RA 10650, the enabling law (Open Distance Learning Act), the goals of the Diploma in Land Use Planning (DLUP), and the characteristics of the ODL program that are considered the anchor of opportunities for aspiring environmental planners. She emphasized that learning is for all, considering that the opportunities to learn are vast in the midst of a global learning crisis.


Finally, Ms. Jichele Urma, UPOU Project staff, provided an overview of DLUP. The overall goal of the initiative is to broaden and decentralize access to planning education while also enhancing the ability of regional training institutions to support a comprehensive education program in land use planning. The curriculum, consisting of a total of 21 units or 7 courses, can be finished in one and a half to two years. Additionally, provided were information on the subjects and tuition for DLUP. More importantly, DLUP graduates are qualified to sit for the environmental planning licensing examination.


The PIEP International cluster members who have graduated, are expecting to graduate, and have enrolled were introduced by Engr. Anselmo Alarilla of UPOU-AFI. Six DLUP graduates, four future graduates, and two enrollees from the PIEP International Cluster are currently in the program.


Enp Mary Grace P. Hermosa-Pineda, President of PIEP-Qatar Chapter, closed the first part of the event and emphasized the need for environmental planners to be equipped in order to support the community wherever they are. After which a separate GMM for the PIEP Qatar and KSA chapters ensued. Each chapter updates its members of its plans and other chapter activities in this segment.


If you are an aspiring EnP or would like to know more about the profession join us and jumpstart your environmental planning career through DLUP. If you're interested in joining or hosting the same event one of your own in collaboration with PIEP International Cluster – you may reach out via email to piepqatar@gmail.com or piepksa2018@gmail.com.

Missed the event? You can still catch up by clicking the link to view the event's Facebook Live recording: https://fb.watch/e1BXv8Xutk/