Do You Really Need to Be an Engineer or Architect to Be a Contractor?

John Edward Reyes     August 11, 2020

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Do You Really Need to Be an Engineer or Architect to Be a Contractor?

A lot of people ask this question, especially those who want to enter the contracting business.  There are ways to be a contractor without being an engineer or an architect. Republic Act 4566 lays down the guidelines to be a contractor here in the Philippines.

Republic Act 4566 is titled the “Contractors’ License Law” and the Proclamation of the Cont. P.D. 1746 amends this law and states that… “No contractor (including sub-contractor and specialty contractor) shall engage in the business of contracting without first having secured a PCAB license to conduct business.”  To be registered to the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board, the candidate should satisfy the following criteria:


  1. Section 19 of RA 4566 states that the board may investigate, classify, and qualify applicants for contractor’s license by written and oral examination

  2. Section 20 states that, the board shall require the applicant to show at least two years’ experience in the construction industry, and knowledge of the building, safety, health and lien laws of the Republic of the Philippines and the rudimentary administrative principles of the contracting business as the board deems necessary for the safety of the contracting business of the public.

  3. Section 20 further states, For the purpose of this section, a partnership, corporation, or any other organization may qualify through its responsible managing officer appearing personally before the Board who shall prove that he is a bona fide responsible officer of such firm and that he exercises or is in a position to exercise authority over the contracting business of his principal or employer in the following manner: (1) to make technical and administrative decisions; and, (2) to hire, superintend, promote, transfer, lay off, discipline or discharge employees

This shows that you can be a contractor, even without being an engineer or architect, but you can only qualify through a managing officer whom the PCAB shall determine has the authority to run your contracting business. It is important that this managing officer has the technical skills and knowledge of construction which licensed engineers, architects, and designers possess.

Should this managing officer part ways with your company, your PCAB license is valid until its date of expiration. Once expired, you are required to present another managing officer in replacement of the old one.

These laws were written to protect the general public’s safety.  Construction is a lucrative and challenging industry which makes it appealing for a lot of people to delve into, but no one should engage in construction without the proper skills and knowledge in place.  The smallest bad decisions and neglect could cause catastrophic misfortunes and claim lives.

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