Behind every structure that populate the world are a team of creative and fastidious minds who planned, conceptualized, and saw the project throughout the end. But before architects can design the interior and exterior aesthetic of a building, and engineers can ensure the safety and functionality of the structure, they need to depend on surveyors to measure and map the land.
“You can’t make any development and infrastructure if you do not have land survey,” said ASEAN Engineer Richard C. Tollo, who made a name for himself in the field of land surveying.
Tollo sat down with Balikbayan Magazine and talked about not one, but four of his companies that offer different services in the land development industry.
Mapping Future Developments
With the mission to provide superior, cost-efficient and dependable geomatics services as well as geo-information technology products, solutions, and services, Tollo established RC Tollo Surveying Services (RCTSS) in 1991. Today, the company has become the preferred geomatics and *geographic information system (GIS) solutions provider for local and corporate businesses not only in the Philippines but also in SouthEast Asia.
The services that RCTSS offers range from land surveys, engineering surveys, construction surveys, to remote sensing and GIS. It also does special services like drainage investigation, geotechnical investigation, flow measurement, tree-tagging, transmission line surveys, and global positioning surveys.
Additionally, the company helps organizations acquire, process, analyze, and spatially “make sense” of data by providing creative GIS-based solutions and services that would make them delight in data.
“Our data is the basis of the designer,” Tollo said.
As the General Manager of RCTSS, Tollo maintains a set of corporate values that he employs in managing the company. He makes sure everyone is upholding God-first values in all aspects of its operation, displaying professionalism in working with clients, and applying the best practices in management and delivery services while serving clients from any place of the economic spectrum. He also encourages creativity as well as innovation among his personnel.
Tollo is confident in RCTSS’ professional integrity and excellent quality of work. His team of engineers and technical specialists has acquired on-the-field technical knowledge from over two million hectares of land survey in the past year, making itself as one of the most efficient teams in the industry today. It has also established more than 2,000 First, Second, Third, and Fourth Order Geodetic points of PRS ’92 (Phil. Reference System) nationwide using the latest in surveying technology. Aside from those, RCTSS ensures cost-effective services, with their proposals always flexible to meet their client’s needs.
For over 20 years, Tollo has provided surveying services to some of the country’s top 100 companies, national government agencies, local government units, and foreign corporations. His company was the recipient of the 2016 Prestigious Seal Awardee, given by the Gawad Sulo Foundation. It also received the FEATI Engineering Industry Partner Award for three consecutive years since 2017 for continuously supporting the academic activities and curricular requirements of the Geodetic Engineering programs of the FEATI University.
RCTSS is affiliated with several industry organizations such as the Geodetic Engineers of the Philippines, where Tollo was National President for four years; Confederation of Filipino Consultants; and Philippine Aggrupation of Geodetic Engineering Consultants Inc. It is also one of the only four corporate members of the ASEAN Federation of Land Surveying and Geomatics (ASEAN FLAG) from the Philippines.
Breathing life into dreams
Tollo’s service does not stop in land surveying — if anything, that is just the beginning. In 2002, he established RC Tollo Construction Inc., a full-service construction firm that consists of a team of professionals with their expertise dedicated to the quality of services at a reasonable price.
RCTCI offers construction services in various fields like general building, general engineering, structural/civil, electrical, plumbing, and land development. Much like Tollo himself, the company makes sure to do any job with honesty and integrity, with the client’s satisfaction as the primary goal.
Construction engineers play a central role in influencing a building’s architecture, sustainability and energy demand of a building, as well as the health and safety of its occupants, that’s why RCTCI hires only the best and brightest minds in the industry, providing them with exceptional training to strengthen their skills as they further the company’s success.
As President of the company, Tollo believes in conducting all business and personal affairs with the highest level of integrity as well as taking responsibility and accountability for all words and actions.
“We are honest, straightforward, and deal fairly with everyone,” he said.
Tollo runs RCTCI with a strong commitment to excellence. He ensures high-quality production and encourages new and innovative ideas as RCTCI establishes itself as a trustworthy and premier construction firm in the Philippines.
Throughout the years, RCTCI has gained a stellar list of clientele that enjoyed its quality of service including Ayala Land, Makati Development Corporation, Manila Polo Club, Megawide Construction Company, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, San Miguel Corporation, SMART Communication, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Department of Agriculture, among others.
After stepping into the field of land surveying and construction, Tollo soon realized he wanted to help in distributing high quality engineering equipment to various professional engineers and sub-dealers across the Philippines.
In 2016, he founded EarthNav Trading Corporation, where clients can secure high quality, cost-efficient, and reliable technology. From the start up until the present, it has been supplying surveying products and other engineering supplies to private and government agencies in the country.
Tollo ensures to provide clients with the best valued products and customer satisfaction by distributing quality items with a great selection. His company imports and supplies high-end engineering instruments and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that are reliable and reasonable for use in land development.
Earthnav also provides technical training as well as holds technology forums and seminars to potential clients such as geodetic engineering students, professional geodetic engineers who are working both in public and private companies, and commercial contractors who are providing professional services to acquire new information, ideas, and skills about the advanced engineering surveying technology.
As a well-known figure in the surveying industry. Tollo wants to help engineers attain precise and reliable engineering technology at a reasonable price, and promote better business relationship for those clients that belong in the same field as him.
“Earthnav’s vision is to be known as a global competitive, innovative supplier, and affordable source of various surveying instruments and other associated engineering technology in the country,” the company said.
Earthnav is also the distributor of surveying equipment manufactured by Zhoumato Technology Manufacturing Corp. — Tollo’s latest undertaking, established in 2018 as the first-ever company in the Philippines that makes land surveying equipment.
Zhoumato Technology is a company born from Tollo’s compassionate heart. He knew, from his early experiences in the land industry, how hard it is to acquire and afford surveying equipment, especially when you’re just getting started in the business.
“This was the need. This was what professionals like me needed,” he said, explaining that the steep price of the equipment was a major aspect in establishing his own manufacturing plant.
“Also, where would professionals go to when the equipment is broken? You’d have to ship it outside of the country,” he added.
Tollo spoke of convenience, of easing engineer’s worries and changing mindsets about expensive surveying equipment. In line with this, Zhoumato Technology offers high-quality and low-cost equipment that any corner of the market would be able to acquire and afford.
“Basically, [my four companies] work as a one-stop shop. We can provide any service from mapping, surveying, and construction using the equipment we manufacture and distribute,” Tollo said.
*The Geographic Information System or GIS, is a specific information system applied to geographic data and is mainly referred to as a system of hardware, software, personnel and procedures designed to support capture, manage, manipulate, analyze, model and display of spatially referenced data for solving complex planning and management problems.
Photographed by Godwin Gasacao