OBO to barangays: Help us apprehend illegal structures
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Cebu City Office of the Building Official (OBO) urged barangay officials to help them identify, apprehend, and order the closure of illegal structures in their jurisdictions.
Illegal structures are those structures built without a building permit, those that violate the easement laws of 3 meters away from the sidewalk, or structures that pose danger to the public.
Architect Florante Catalan, head of the OBO, said the help of the barangays officials will be pivotal in their bid to apprehend illegal structures in different areas of the city.
“Kailangan kaayo namo ang tabang sa mga barangays kay daghan kaayo mig madawat nga reklamo kada adlaw, dili namo kaya if kami ra,” said Catalan.
(We need the help of the barangays because we receive many complaints in a day and we can’t handle all of them on our own.)
Catalan said barangay chiefs can help since they are given the authority to monitor the building and other structures built or planned to be built in their areas.
He said the barangays are first to check before a structure is built because they release the barangay clearance or permit for the structure necessary for a building permit.
The barangays are given seven days to approve or disapprove the structure, after which, the OBO will issue the building permit based on the barangay’s advise.
If the barangay fails to give a decision, the OBO will take this as an approval of the construction.
“Kon dili approve inyong tanaw ang structure dinha sa inyong barangay, pwede mo modisapprove in writing. (If you think you don’t approve the planned structure in your barangay, you can disapprove it in writing),” said Catalan.
Aside from releasing permits, barangays can also order a demolition or removal for illegal structures in their barangays and give the owners 10 days to comply.
If the owners refuse to heed the order of the barangay, the barangay may ask the help of the city government to do so or endorse the case to the City Legal Office.
After ten days, charges may be filed against owners of the illegal structures in violation of the National Building Code through the City Legal.
This process will be made shorter than if the OBO takes a case of illegal structure because the it has to undergo a six-way process, including suspension, and two sets of administrative hearing prior to demolition.
Catalan hopes the barangay officials will be able to help the OBO take down illegal structures through proper coordination.
This will help cut down the complaints Obo to at least 50 percent. /bmjo
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