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Former national president and immediate past chancellor architect of the United Architects of the Philippines, Yolanda David Reyes, was elected chairwoman of the Architects Regional Council, Asia (Arcasia), in a council conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh, making her the first lady chief of the organization of architects of Asia.

Arcasia, now over 20 years old, is composed of 17-member institutes in Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Arcasia had two previous Filipino chairmen, namely, Architects Felipe Mendoza and Richeto Alcordo. Reyes will sit in the Arcasia Council as chairwoman-elect next year and as chairwoman for two years in 2005 and 2006.

The UAP said that under her leadership, the efforts and dreams of many past national leaders have come into fruition. It has reached out not only throughout the Philippines but also across the Pacific to embrace the Filipino architects abroad. The UAP headquarters is also well on it way to completion.

A more relevant version of the Architecture Law governing the practice of the profession in the Philippines is on its way to being enacted into law.

The UAP also reported the following accomplishments: A comprehensively written history of the organization, growth in the membership, documentation of Heritage Structures, finalization and eventual approval of the Architectural Code of the Philippines as the referral code of the National Building Code, several joint programs and undertakings with government institutions and agencies, and dialogues and unification with other architects' professional organizations.

As dean of the College of Architecture and Fine Arts of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Reyes helped UAP achieve its corporate objective of making higher education more accessible to professionals through the UST Graduate School's Distance Learning Program.

She has shown particular sensitivity to the educational needs of the architects who reside in the far regions of the country and where no graduate education institutions exist. To date, many of the architects are in near completion of their graduate degrees through this mode, the UAP said.

The dual roles of academician and professional enabled her to convene an international conference on the theme "Sustainable and Humane Cities 2000" in April 2000, which featured lectures, presentations, and workshops conducted by acknowledged authorities from various countries on the subjects of planning, architecture, environment, urban housing and conservation of socio-cultural heritage.

The conference led to the adoption of the "Humane Cities Agenda 2000" and the establishment of the Human Cities Center in Manila at the UST.

It was also under Reyes' stewardship as dean that the UST College of Architecture and Fine Arts was evaluated, rated, and proclaimed "Center for Excellence" in 1999 by the Philippine government through the Commission on Higher Education.


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