Responsibility to Mother Earth

Perspective of Soon to be Civil Engineer

Efraim D. Manalo/student/School of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Sanitary Engineering,Mapua Institute of Technology

Civil Engineers work with the environment, engineering structures that will not just benefit mankind but at the same time preserve our environment, our home. With the right knowledge equipped to us by our Professors such as Dr. Delia B. Senoro, we innovate ways. We are prepared to any storm that comes our way. We innovate, improve, strengthen and economize structures as possible as it may get. These are just all, but simple job of a Civil Engineer.

In the changing world we live in, we easily recognize the trend of globalization, technologies springing everywhere. A trend of unity of countries toward one world albeit drastic and strong manifestation of irrevocable change to our environment. Natural disasters are frequent and destructive nowadays. Not just the typhoons such as “Milenyo”, “Ondoy”, “Rosing” or others of the Philippines, but the Mt. Vesuvius in Iceland, hurricane Katrina in USA, killer wave in Indonesia, among others, to take note of. If each of these are rooted, it will only lead to one source, anthropogenic (human made) activities. Man’s journey to modernization leaves the consideration of the disastrous effects to the environment and the people. They forget that the cycle of man’s journey is infinite. Civil Engineers are media for modernization but with proper education, sufficient knowledge, helpful heart towards the environment and respect to human rights, these natural disasters are nothing but like weeds that need to be uprooted to protect the plant we grow.

Environmental technologies must be utilized properly to prevent these disastrous occurrences. Wastewater must be treated for reuse to conserve natural resources. Proper solid waste management and appropriate treatment technologies much be chosen wisely as these provide us sustainable environment. There is, of course, the on-going journey for the development of renewable energy resources that will replace the primary cause of pollutants in air. These are work components of civil/environmental engineering that lead to reduction of pollution over the years. Future technologies are potentially better, predictions such as vehicles that do not run by fossil fuel, radiant energy from the sun utilization, eco-friendly gadgets and other technologies that soon to be opened from their wrapped package.

A Civil/Environmental Engineer must always remember the responsibility toward the world he working with. This is the primary reason why laws are made, i.e., to guide builders of the world to protect the public and the environment. Rules and regulations were developed so that builders will maintain the ecological balance. The Philippines has Presidential Decree (PD) 1586 with Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Administrative Order (DAO) 2003-30 that controls builders by issuing an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to complying builders only. This law stipulates that whatever the builders destroy in the environment, they must replace it with corresponding value. There are several other environmental related local laws, which are aligned with the international laws that are implemented in the Philippines. These ensure that current and future human rights must be respected and mother earth be protected.

Civil Engineer’s work is never done upon the completion of his project. He will forever be responsible to the public and environment. His responsibility is not co-terminus with his license to practice but rather co-terminus with his life. As an aspiring and soon to be Civil Engineer, I see to it that things written here are from the utmost of my heart and I pledge that it will forever be kept in there. So, when time comes, I know my responsibility well, and become a model for the next generation of builders on Earth.