OBO issues work suspension order vs two projects near Juanita Bldg
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Office of the Building Official (OBO) has issued separate suspension orders against the construction works of two high-rise projects beside the Juanita Bldg that is located at the corner of Escario Street and Gorordo Avenue in Cebu City.
Architect Florante Catalan, OBO officer-in-charge, issued the two orders after a portion of the building collapsed at dawn today, August 5. The orders were already served Monday afternoon.
The two orders were issued upon the directive of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, who visited the construction site this morning.
“At the moment, I am inclined to issue a cease and desist order. The building that is being constructed is a 26-story building and beside it there is another construction, which is an 18-storey building,” Labella said in a separate interview.
Labella also instructed OBO to prepare an incident and assessment report “because it could be worse and initial investigation showed there’s water intrusion.”
Read More: Part of building collapses in Kamputhaw, Cebu City
During their initial inspection at the site, Catalan said they found the presence of water underneath the collapsed portion of the Juanita Bldg.
He also admitted that the city government had issued an excavation permit for the ongoing project. Requirements for an excavation permit include a soil protection design.
But he noted that the developer had failed to comply with adequate soil protection requirements.
Catalan noted that the contractor found that there was a problem during the drilling in first level soil located at the left side of the excavation. He added that there were no such problems found on the right side and at the back portion of the excavation.
In his order, Catalan also explained that ongoing excavation works at the project site adjacent to Juanita Building had resulted in damages to property.
Catalan said that his order calls for the suspension of all works except in the area affected by the collapse. “The contractor should clear the debris, restore and protect the soil so there would be no repeat of the collapse incident,” he said.
In his order, the OBO official also directed the developer to submit an incident report.
The second suspension order was issued to another developer of a project that was also implemented adjacent to Juanita Bldg, this time for safety reasons./dcb
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