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In the Philippines’ electronics engineering landscape stands out Engr. Lyle Anthony Villas, the current president of the Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines (IECEP). As head of the organization that has become a cornerstone of their industry, he envisions a brighter future for Filipino electronics engineers.

It all begins with Villas’ name, which comes from a Hollywood legend. His grandmother and mother shared that they were fans of the critically acclaimed and equally well-loved Wonder Woman series from the 1980s and found themselves captivated by actor Lyle Waggoner’s charm. Little did they know that the name they chose for their future engineer would be a harbinger of great things to come.

Today, he commands a formidable presence in his chosen field, with a career that has been defined by a relentless pursuit of excellence and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the field.


IECEP is an organization of professional electronics engineers and electronics technicians duly accredited by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). “It is composed of technically adept individuals, a collection of people [who] specialize in various fields. Engineers in IECEP are the greatest asset the organization could offer to the country,” remarks Villas.

IECEP’s history dates back to the 1950s, when a group of pioneers in the field of electronics and communications engineering came together to establish an organization that would elevate their profession. Among these trailblazers were Dean Jose S. Alfonso, who served as the founding president, Mamerto Buenafe, Fred Carino, Ciriaco Coronel, Jose Grey, Alfredo Gella, Ariston Hulinga, Gonzalo Kamantigue, Albino Lara, and Venancio Pineda.

Becoming a member of IECEP isn’t a choice but a natural progression for those who commit to the field of electronics engineering. People sometimes interpret joining as not mandatory, but Villas says it’s the law. “Professional electronics engineers and electronics technicians, upon taking their oath as a professional, automatically become a member of the organization,” he explains.

However, misinterpretation regarding the way one becomes a member is the least of Villas’ concerns. He shares a sobering reality that plagues many organizations in the Philippines, particularly within the engineering clusters. The essence of membership often fades into obscurity, as some individuals merely use their affiliation as a means to renew their professional licenses. It’s a hurdle that organizations like IECEP are tirelessly working to overcome. He, however, admits that he can relate to this mindset from his earlier days, but this perspective underwent a profound transformation when his priorities and commitments shifted.

Pero narealize ko na marami talagang puwedeng makuha from the organization (I realized that there are really many things you can get from the organization),” he reflects. He’s referring to the invaluable networks and relationships one can establish and cultivate, which prove to be instrumental in advancing one’s career within the industry. Beyond that, the wealth of knowledge and skills gained from conventions and other organization events further underscores the true worth of being a part of IECEP.

Moreover, IECEP isn’t an exclusive club solely for electronics engineers. Villas emphasizes the importance of what he calls “allied professions.” “Technicians as well as IT graduates, ComSci, ComEng, are welcome to join the organization,” he says.


“Never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself leading the organization,” Villas candidly reveals. “What excites and inspires me is what positive change I can bring—more so, leading the organization from the top,” he adds.

Villas’ journey within IECEP is a testament to his dedication and theunexpected twists and turns that life can offer. He started as a board director,then ascended to the position of vice president. Now, as president, his leadershipcouldn’t have come at a more pivotal moment. As he puts it, “During the pandemic, we really took the spotlight because [it became clear that] our profession is essential in our sector.” This underscores the critical role electronics engineers and technicians play in the current landscape, where the internet has swiftly become an indispensable commodity and conducting business online has become the norm.

Even before he became an IECEP board director, Villas had already contributedas a founding officer of the local Rizal chapter. As governor of external affairs—the second-highest position for local chapters—from 2017 to 2019, he led their chapter to being recognized as first runner-up for the organization’s Best Local Chapter. “That’s an achievement. It means you’ve done a lot of activities, so the Rizal chapter quickly made its mark on the map,” he stresses.

The achievement carried significant weight, especially considering that the Rizal chapter was a relative newcomer competing against more established chapters. This pattern continued over the next couple of years, with the chapter winning 2nd runner-up and, in his final year as governor, securing the 1st runner-up position onceagain. As he puts it, “Rizal [chapter] in terms of excellence is alwaysthe cream of the crop.” This naturally brought recognition to Villaswithin the organization. “Because that’s how it goes,” he explains.“You need to introduce yourself if you want to go national. Besidesconfidently presenting yourself, you need to show results.”

Being voted into the board of the IECEP is no small feat. There are 11 members of the board of directors, one of whom will ascend to the highest seat—the presidency. VIllas notes that to even have a fighting chance at becoming president, one must demonstrate their ability to effect meaningful change within the organization. Moreover, effectiveness in such a role is hinged on a deep understanding of the organization’s history and needs.

“There are things I wanted to do [beyond the Rizal chapter], and I said I can do them better on the national level,” Villas reveals. Eventually, Villas’ remarkable leadership and vision of driving positive change within IECEP led to his election as the youngest president ever at the age of 38.


“We want long-lasting linkages and connections,” Villas says, outlining a vision of strategic partnerships that extend far beyond his term as IECEP head. These alliances provide the means to raise essential funds for various projects, furthering the organization’s mission. In return, IECEP extends enticing opportunities to its partners, such as featuring them in publications and websites and even offering free training sessions for electronics engineers to facilitate license renewal. It’s a symbiotic relationship that propels both parties toward success.

However, Villas’ commitment to institutionalized membership and partnership goes beyond immediate gains; it’s a strategic move to ensure IECEP’s continued success. With each president serving a single one-year term, the fear of abrupt changes in programs and relationships looms large. By establishing a constant pool of institutional members, he aims to fortify the organization’s future.

As for its members, Villas has placed significant emphasis on a project that he initiated a year ago during his tenure as the organization’s vice president: the digitization of membership records and the implementation of a permanent membership identification system. One common issue many members faced was the difficulty in obtaining their membership IDs, often entangled in behind-the-scenes complexities that the existing workflow and system couldn’t address. Villas saw these challenges as opportunities for improvement.

The drive for digitization gained momentum when the organization realized that only a fraction of the active members were using the portal. “So I spearheaded that part after my first year. From 4000, it jumped to 19,000. Now, after another year, it has jumped to around 25,000.” This transformational project not only streamlined the membership process but also significantly increased engagement and participation within the organization.

In addition to the ongoing initiatives, he has unveiled an ambitious upcoming project, the IECEP Academy—”a first for the institute,” as he puts it. The IECEP Academy’s goal is to offer members a structured curriculum that caters to different specializations. It will offer these courses in both face-to-face settings and virtually, through webinars or video-on-demand, mirroring popular platforms like Udemy or Coursera. “The difference is that the structured environment came from the national level, and it branches out from there,” he adds.

“We’re looking at being an ISO-certified organization,” he states. “We have pioneered international conferences and local conferences.” However, he admits that these steps have raised some eyebrows among IECEP members, acknowledging, “This is not a part of IECEP’s culture.” Nevertheless, the organization is pushing forward with its vision.

Villas emphasizes the need for a proactive approach in realizing the aspiration of IECEP “to be one of the best accredited professional organizations.”

IECEP recently emerged as one of the finalists for thePRC’s search for Most Outstanding Accredited Professional Organization. “Being in the magic circle of 6 out of 55 organizations in our category is a validation of the time, effort, perseverance, dedication, and commitment poured in by all the hardworking men and women of the institute,” Villas states. In a social media appreciation post on the efforts of all of its members, he wrote: “We may not be able to bag the highest award, but it was not easy either just to be able to be there at the top, standing side by side with the PRC’s crème of the crop— alongside other quality-deserving professional organizations—a first for IECEP in its 73 years of existence.” This honor is matched by another first: it was named one of the finalists for the Most Outstanding Professional Regulatory Board of the Year by the Professional Regulatory Board of Electronics Engineering.


Not only has Villas steered IECEP to new heights, but his personal accomplishments are equally impressive. He has conquered two board examinations, a testament to his unwavering dedication and pursuit of excellence. Additionally, he achieved the distinction of passing the ASEAN Chartered Professional Engineer Exam, highlighting his prowess in the field.

Villas believes that it takes something more profound to ascend higher in one’s practice: the power to inspire. “It feels good when someone tells you, ‘Sir, I look up to you.'” The feeling of knowing that he has made a positive impact on someone’s life resonates deeply with him. “If someone says that to you, it’s heartwarming. At least you’ve made one life better.”

Beyond his role as IECEP president, Villas also plays an important role in the corporate world, being part of their family business, Graviltech. Keeping up with the demands of his different roles, he says, “is all about time.”

As he puts it, “I would say time is the most precious thing that we offer here. It equates to the commitment that you swore to. Your commitment equates to your time. Managing these multifaceted roles necessitates a meticulous approach, including the art of prioritization and delegation.”

“Never forget your support system,” Villas adds. For him, it is his family that fulfills this role. In the world of work, he acknowledges the truth: “You can be easily replaced in the things that you do.” Yet he ultimately finds solace in the unwavering support of his family. As he concludes, “After all is said and done, you go back to your main support system, which is your family.”


A good number of the most famous characters in popular culture, such as Iron Man, have their roots in engineering. Villas asserts that engineers possess a formidable ability, possibly even surpassing the likes of flying in an armored suit or incredible physical strength. As he succinctly puts it, “Engineers are problem solvers.”

Villas reminds us that society requires something more than caped crusaders. We need innovative engineers equipped with the power to tackle the most complex challenges in our society. Engineers design solutions or platforms accordingto their specialization and practice. This is undeniably invaluable, especially now, as electronics engineering assumes an indispensable role in driving economic growth in an eraof burgeoning digital reliance. Government priorities such as enhancing internet speed and streamlining processes for telco tower enactments all fall under the electronics engineering umbrella. As Villas states, “Bida tayo ngayon, kasi pinapractice natin 'yung kailangan para umabante ang ekonomiya (We’re inthe spotlight because we practice what the economy needs to move forward).”

However, he expressed some concern about the dwindling number of electronics engineers in the field. He attributes this decline to various factors, such as job opportunities that nolonger require licenses or the perception that undergoing several board exams isn’t worth the risk. Regardless, Villas firmly insists that engineers are paramount, as he emphatically states, “Engineers are no-brainer essentialsin today’s society.”

Being an engineer means joining a movement dedicated to problem-solving and positively impacting lives. As he aptlyputs it, “something exciting and rewarding a future engineer should look forward to.” However, he also emphasizes the critical importance of having more engineers, as it is highly essential for the progress of the country.

Engineers play a pivotal role in economic growth, competitiveness, social and political stability, and excellence in governance, which, according to him, are all essential concepts


of nation-building. As Villas asserts, “having more engineers is highly essential to the progress of a country.” It’s a message that resonates far beyond the boundaries of any profession, echoing the importance of engineering as a cornerstone of our collective future.


For Villas, being the youngest president of IECEP signifies breaking barriers and opening doors for the future. “This means there could also be younger leaders who will follow in my footsteps.” He remains confident that the younger generation can thrive, nurturing innovative ideas while drawing from the wisdom of experienced veterans who have served as leaders of IECEP.“I hope that I’ll be able to inspire others to bring in more leaders in the organization, bring in more ideas, and bring in more people,” Villas shares. He emphasizes the importance of identifying and nurturing servant leaders with pure intentions, ensuring that the organization will remain in capable hands. “We hope to instill a certain type of leadership wherein you do not look at what you will be known for but what you will be able to contribute,” he says. He fervently wishes that his successor will understand the profession and organization’s needs, continuing valuable projects rather than discontinuing them for the sake of novelty.

His message to the next generation is simple yet profound: serve, inspire, and create leaders as passionate as those who have come before. Moreover, love the profession, cherish the organization, and strive to craft solutions that enhance everyone’s quality of life. As he wisely imparts, “What you’re doing should be a solution for a better world."

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