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OBO head: Existing buildings in Cebu City ‘structurally sound’

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 07,2023 - 05:58 PM

Architect Florante Catalan, the head of OBO. | CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Office of the Barangay Official (OBO) head Architect Florante Catalan assures the public that all buildings in the city are “structurally sound.”

This he said after a powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Syria and Turkey on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, taking down buildings and causing thousands of deaths.

Catalan said contractors need to secure a building permits from OBO before starting construction in the city. With the building permit comes the structural analysis of the building signed by their structural engineer.

“With that, we are very confident nga our buildings here in Cebu City are safe, gawas lang anang mga old structures nga how many years ago na na construct. Dapat na siyang ma check jud pod sa ilang mga structural engineers to check if safe pa ba,” he said.

Catalan, however, said there are less than ten dilapidated, abandoned, and old structures here that have to be dismantled.

These structures include the two-story commercial building located along Gorordo Avenue that was earlier damaged by a fire, a fence located at the entrance to the Department of Agriculture compound along M. Velez St., and a damaged retaining wall along S. Cabahug St. in Barangay Mabolo, among others.

The old White Gold Club Mall building at the North Reclamation Area, which also poses risk to the public, has been demolished late 2022.

Catalan said they have already recommended immediate demolition of these structures to its private owners as the city is willing to extend help if needed.

Catalan also assured that the Cebu City Hall buildings are all structurally safe and sound. The City Hall survived the 2013 earthquake that hit the entire Central Visayas.

Moreover, Catalan said they recently required high-rise buildings and those occupied and used by more than 1,000 persons to mount an Earthquake Recording Instrumentation (ERI) as another pre-requisite for building and occupancy permits and certificate of annual inspection since 2020. These include schools, hospitals, among others.

“Yearly na siya gi check kay… we will not issue this annual certificate of inspection if wala ni siya,” he said.

Catalan also warned those who have plans to illegally construct buildings and structures in the city.

“Do not construct without approved building permit kay masayang man. If madakpan ka then mag-apply ka og building permit and dili na mao ang na construct, so naa g’yoy time na i-demolish. It’s a criminal case. Any person nga nagtindog without the building permit naa tay criminal case nga ifile with the city,” he added.

/bmjo

RELATED STORIES:

Turkey, Syria earthquake: Death toll rises to more than 4,800

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TAGS: building, CDN, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, earthquake, Office of the Building Official, structure

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