Costelo, Ros A. 2022. “Colonial Civil Engineers and the Inspección General de Obras Públicas 1866-1898.” in María Dolores Elizalde, Transforming the 19th Century Philippines, pp. 131-156. Madrid: Ediciones Polifemo.
In 1866, a new colonial institution was created to administer the construction of public works in the Philippines. This institution, composed of engineers and technological experts, was called the Inspección General de Obras Públicas de Filipinas (IGOP). Through the IGOP, these colonial engineers were tasked to undertake the study, execution, and supervision of the networks of public works in the Philippines such as roads, bridges, railroads, tranvias, ports, lighthouses, sewage system, street lighting, drinking water system, etc.
The paper tackles how the engineers of the IGOP were instrumental in the last attempts of Spain to bring in the forces of modernization to the colony in the second half of the 19th century. It also explores the role played by the IGOP and its engineers in the beginnings of the institutionalization of civil engineering in the archipelago.