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Case Study # 1

Mario , the City Engineer of DPWH is the only licensed professional in a


position of responsibility within the City Government that city has several Large food
processing plants that discharge large amount of wastewater system during canning system.
Mario is the one responsible for wastewater treatment and report to James about its
operation.

Mario tells to James that the wastewater treatment plant is not capable of
handling potential overflow rainy season and offers several possible solution. James replies
that they will face the problem when it happens. Engr. Mario privately notify other city officials
about wastewater treatment problem but James removes the responsibility from Mario and
give it to Chris, a technician who is under Mario's supervision.

James instruct Chris to report directly to him, and confirms that in a memo
which is copied to Mario. Mario is also place in probation. He is warned that if he discusses
the matter further, he will be terminated.

Mario continues to work for the City Government as Engineer/ Director of


DPWH, he assumes no responsibility for wastewater plant but continue to advise Chris
without James knowledge. During winter, heavy storm occurs in the city. It becomes clear
that if the wastewater treatment plants. Wastewater is not released into local water, the ponds
will overflow and dump all the waste in the river under the law, the condition must be reported
to the State Water Pollution Control.

Question:

How would you respond to the situation ? How do you assess Engr. Mario
action ? James action? Chris action? What are Engr. Mario's obligation to James; Chris and
Public Work Department? Environmental health for City government? How might these
responsibility be fulfilled simultaneously which take precedence in case of conflict? What
additional information would you like to have and what difference would it make to your
assessment ?

Respond:

As a Chemical Engineer, I know my responsibility and obligation most


especially if I'm working at wastewater treatment plant. It's my job to give solution or at least
control the possible effect of overflowing of water in local water. In this case, Engr. Mario
failed to do his job. This made me disappointed to the fact that Engr. Mario did not fight for
his rights and responsibility despite of having knowledge and solution in this kind of problem.
In the part of environmental health, it would be a huge destruction which definitely leads to
death.

If I were Engr. Mario, I would accept to be terminated form my job knowing


that I did my job as a Chemical Engineer aiming to prevent disaster, rather than, keeping quiet
while big problem comes ahead. Engr. Mario failed to handle his responsibility. He did not
make a concrete action that would convince or at least would make James believe on him
statements. He has no enough courage and determination in handling such kind of situation.
He let every decision to his boss which has no knowledge in handling wastewater.

About James action, he used his position in order for Engr. Mario and
Chris follow him. He did not accept or even ask what would be the effects of overflowing of
water. He was blinded by his position . He did not let anyone make ahead on him so as a
result, he removes Engr. Mario from his responsibility. Regarding Chris action, his knowledge
is not enough to fully understand what is going on. It is said that Engr. Mario advises him
what to do in order to respond to his new responsibility. If I were Chris, I will not accept the
responsibility of Engr. Mario because I haven't have power and experience in wastewater
treatment. Being a technician is far from being Engineer.

Engr. Mario's obligation is to make a concrete plan out of different solution.


It is by nature that Engr. Mario take precedence in this kind of case no matter James is on a
higher position. He is obliged to care the environment as well as the community. This is not a
matter of position in the company, it is rather a matter of knowledge and application of what
Engr. Mario's learned as Chemical Engineer. Chemical Engineering is not only for production
but also in controlling and manipulating variables.

To make these responsibility be fulfilled, a smart decision and good


communication must be considered. If there is a conflict, try to make adjustment. If ever there
would be bad effects on the environment, make another or alternative solution. And most of
all, every information must closed in a room, no matter what happen, it must be confidential.