Dear esteemed colleague,
Mabuhay! Welcome and thank you for being a member. It is such a great honor that we can work together on this exciting and pivotal moment – the starting-up of the Philippine Institute of Certified Quantity Surveyors (PICQS). My experience may not be much different from yours in that, after having been inducted into the ranks of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), as well as of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS), I have felt that somehow this achievement is not yet complete. Becoming a chartered member does not end with qualifications. It is just the beginning of the journey to help others become chartered.
You would possibly agree that Quantity Surveying is scarcely known in the Philippines. You probably started your career as an estimator. But then the construction boom came along with the demand for technical administrative personnel. and it was not until the influx of foreign companies did you hear about ‘quantity surveyors’ which job adverts described in very close resemblance to the duties you were doing. Suddenly, you had a name to call yourself – a ‘quantity surveyor’. Yet at some stage, it dawned upon you to ask whether or not you really are; since, unlike other disciplines, they have professional bodies to confer the title of the specialty: be it ‘engineer’, or ‘doctor’, or whatever. But there is no professional local body to do the same for a ‘quantity surveyor’.
This is one vision of the PICQS: to be that professional local body having the mandate to confer the title of ‘Quantity Surveyor’. And with the help of our revered QS organizations abroad, we shall bear the standards of the practice, we become a credible reference for our colleagues in the local building industry, and we spearhead local programs for QS training and guidance.
As you and I have both experienced, the title of ‘Quantity Surveyor’ is not served on a silver platter. Excellence has zero tolerance for mediocrity, and this shows with the discipline required in the modules of study and training; not to downplay the financial requirements as well. At this writing, there is not one local course provider accredited by internationally recognized QS professional bodies, and this is possibly another element that we need to address: the delivery of QS course modules that are up to standard and yet reasonably affordable for prospective local students. You as a member may possibly have the skill to mentor or the qualification to teach. We have a long way ahead, but the approved modules from internationally recognized QS professional bodies provide a good foundation to begin with.
And last, but not least, we are both aware that while Filipinos are slowly gaining admittance to QS professional bodies overseas, there is no local counterpart which we can call our own. It is a lonely thought that, after all our hard work abroad, we find no home-base for ourselves; which is just not acceptable. And on a more personal level, it inspires me that this home-base would serve as a worthy legacy for future Filipino quantity surveyors. Materials depreciate in value; and money is spent away. So, regardless of what the years had generously given and would be taking back someday, I cherish the thought that it all culminated into something worthwhile and enduring that even next generations would enjoy and treasure.
I know you wish for the same as well, and that you know how significant this moment is – not just for me, but for the members who joined at this very stage. So once again, with heartfelt thanks, I welcome you.
Julie Christie M. de la Cruz
Chairperson and Founder, PICQS, Inc.
Julie Christie M. de la Cruz, the Chair and Founder of the Philippine Institute of Certified Quantity Surveyors (PICQS), Inc. has recently been elected a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the first Filipino to achieve such. She was also the first Filipino Associate Member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) and an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). She is currently an APC Assessor both for RICS and AIQS and has been appointed by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) as part of the Education, Qualification, Standards and Practice Board. For her day job, presently she works as a Senior Cost Consultant for EC Harris UAE. She held previously the position of Assistant Vice President at Davis Langdon and Seah Philippines Inc.
Julie earned her Post Graduate Diploma in Quantity Surveying from the College of Estate Management in Reading, UK, and was awarded the Walfords Prize for Best Student of the Year in QS Division and graduated with Merit. She also holds an MBA from De La Salle University in Manila, and remarkably was a consistent Dean’s Lister. She took her BS Degree in Civil Engineering from University of Santo Tomas in Manila, and thereafter became a Licensed Civil Engineer. She will soon be starting her MSc in Construction Law and Arbitration at Robert Gordon University in UK as a university scholar. Also, she is preparing for her Phd studies in the Built Environment next year at the University of Salford in UK.
Undoubtedly, Julie has always been an achiever since her younger days. She was raised from Cotabato City in Philippines, and graduated as Grade and High School Class Salutatorian. She was President of the Student Council, the Battalion Commander, a recipient of the Gerry Roxas Leadership Award, Mathematics Award and CAT Leadership Award.
Needless to say, Julie’s achievements were outstanding and exemplary. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors. May her story and determination serve as an inspiration for us to always believe in ourselves and our ability to achieve our own milestones.
From all of us here at PICQS