Collapsible parking building eyed to replace old magsaysay building

BAGUIO CITY – A collapsible parking structure is eyed to replace the condemned Old Magsaysay Building at the City Market.

City Building Officer Nazita Banez said the plans and program of work for the "temporary and dismantable" structure had been completed and up for submission to the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) for bidding.

The structure expected to cost P20 million will have three floors: the first floor to house parking slots and the second and third floors to have spaces that can be rented by old occupants and others.

Banez said they are still working out the demolition of the old building to give time to the occupants of the old buildings to prepare their relocation.

Banez earlier said the CBAO declared the building "ruinous, hazardous and unfit for occupancy" while the Baguio Fire Department reiterated the edifice's fire hazard status made as early as 2010.

If they will have their way, the CBAO wants the building demolished as soon as possible in view of its dangerous condition but while the transfer of the occupants is still in the works, they can only hope that no untoward incident like fire or other similar calamity will happen to the building and renters.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan earlier ordered the reevaluation of the more than 50-year old building to assess its structural and fire safety condition.

In 2010, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) declared the building as fire hazard due to violations of the National Building Code and fire safety law and along with the Baguio City Market Authority recommended the closure of the edifice due to the gravity of the defects found blocked fire exits, dangling electrical wires and the tenants' practice of allowing persons to sleep over in offices and cook meals in violation of existing ordinances.

However, upon the request of the tenants, the city government agreed to allow continued occupancy on condition that the occupants will institute remedial safety measures.

City treasurer Alex Cabarrubias said there are around 20 occupants renting spaces within the building who are paying meager rental fees. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

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