Building safety tackled in forum

BAGUIO CITY – Height does not matter.

This was the retort of councilor Mylen Yaranon to a query made in Tuesday's City Hall Hour media forum regarding the safety of buildings that are more than six storeys high should a strong earthquake occur similar to the killer tremblor that hit the Summer Capital in July 16, 1990.

As chair of the city council's committee on public works and an architect by profession, Yaranon said that a building's height does not assure of it being safe or not during an earthquake but rather how it was constructed and the materials used that matter.

She claimed that even if a structure is only one storey high but was not constructed in the proper manner and the right materials were not utilized, then it will easily crumble during an earthquake.

Yaranon stressed that the best way to ensure that a building is built properly and is safe for occupancy is that it has a building permit and other necessary documents from the city building and architecture office (CBAO) under Engr. Nazita Banez.

Banez explained it is her office that inspects, monitors and gives permits for vertical structures while the city engineering office (CEO) under Engr. Edgar Victorio Olpindo handles horizontal structures like roads.

Banez is asking all those intending to construct vertical structures in the city to apply for building, occupancy and other needed permits at CBAO to ensure that these are built following specifications of the National Building Code.

It must be recalled that due to the massive loss of lives and destruction of property by the natural calamity more than two decades ago that local officials agreed to impose a limit of six storeys for buildings constructed in the city mainly for safety reasons.-gaby keith

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