As in many industries, in a post-GFC economic climate, pursuing a successful and economically viable career in interior design is no mean feat.
Tight finances often bring about an elimination of luxury costs which, especially from a real estate perspective, interior design is often perceived to be. In addition, the mass DIY boom means that interior design is seen by many as a highly accessible field, with both of these factors combining to create a highly competitive industry.
In response, interior design sectors worldwide are pushing for larger skill sets and greater education and training in order to compete on the global stage.
The Filipino interior design sector has made noted moves in order to improve its competitive edge. With the industry, especially in terms of luxury real estate development, expected to boom, industry leadership in the Philippines are strongly supporting the growth and heightening of standards that will allow them to gain an edge over international counterparts.
Eric Trump, son of international tycoon Donald Trump, said while announcing the development of Trump Tower in Manila, “the strength of the local market and its increasing demand in the ownership of luxury real estate” will be key to the success of their own development, and other such initiatives of similar standards and calibre.
With such high standards and expectations surrounding the industry, the Senate has recently passed a measure to enhance the interior design industry. In an amendment to the Republic Act Republic Act 8534, or the Philippine Interior Design Act of 1998, Senate Bill 3139 outlays changes that include:
- Minimising foreign interior design permits to benefit both foreign and Filipino industry professionals,
- Minimising the number of nominees from the Board of Interior Design from five to three,
- Lowering the passing rate for licensing exams from 75 per cent to a weighted general average of 70 per cent,
- Mandating professional education and skills upgrading for working professionals.
According to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, these changes are but a few among many that will set a new, dramatically higher, industry standard.
“Many Filipino interior designers have attained international recognition and have been admitted in different international organisations for interior design,” he says. “Some countries like Malaysia have even patterned their licensing and regulatory laws concerning interior design from our laws.”
Not only will the new bill aid in the development of the industry and independent interior designers, but those who fail to adhere to the regulations could face fines of up to P1,000,000 and/or imprisonment of six months to three years.