Cbao reiterates need to comply with building code

BAGUIO CITY – City Building Official Engr. Nazita Banez on Monday reminded residents here to strictly comply with the provisions of the National Building Code to ensure the stability and protection of their structures against strong typhoons like "Ompong."

The head of the City Building and Architecture Office also warned that on-going structures without permits especially those within the hazardous and non-buildable areas in the City such as steep slopes, road right-of-ways, waterways and parks will be subjected to summary demolition as a safeguard for the people.

This came on the heels of reports that most of the structures affected by the typhoon were not covered by building permits and built along high risk areas.

"Let's learn our lesson: Follow the requirements of the Building Code and secure building permit before starting the construction. I understand that not everyone has the means that's why they resort to buying lots from syndicates and build shanties. But please think of the safety of our families. If it's unsafe then we better just rent," Banez said.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan who acknowledged the need to intensity disaster mitigation measures said barangay officials should take their responsibilities of reporting illegal structures especially those being built in high risk areas more seriously.

"It is their duty to monitor and report these occurrences because they are familiar with their own people and their activities," he said.

Banez said securing building permits would only cost a minimal amount or P10 per square meter plus miscellaneous fees.

To complete the requirements, she advised that owners hire technical people like private engineers or architects knowledgeable on the Building Code to do their building plans and to undertake soil tests to determine the depth of the foundation needed for the structure and other site development and engineering interventions needed to ensure the soundness of the structure.

"What's happening now is that owners just build without guidance from experts and without employing site development so when calamities strike, their structures are toppled and worse when they refuse to heed calls for preemptive evacuation, lives are lost," Banez lamented. – Aileen P. Refuezo

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