22 April 2021 – Sans any fanfare, the city government has  launched  the Building Permit Application Services System or BuildPASS, April 22,  an online client-centered program that radically streamlined  the  application process for construction permits in the Summer Capital with the motto: “Build Safe, Build Smart, Baguio”.

City Building and Architecture Office (CBAO) head Archt. Johnny Degay said the system converges the offices responsible in the processing of construction permits:  City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO), City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and his office.

“With BuildPASS, a virtual space is provided to the applicant allowing him or her to submit all the requirements of the four offices at once and online,” he said.

The system is capable of providing real time monitoring and tracking of applications; real time messaging between evaluator and applicants; simultaneous evaluation of offices; one time assessment; and minimal face-to-face interaction.

Degay said digitalization of the process is timely and relevant during the new normal and that BuildPASS aims to cut the processing time from a whopping 123 days to just five days for simple classification permits.

It is also designed to minimize interaction between applicants and government entities further strengthening the city’s stand against fixers and improve protection against coronavirus-2019, he added.

Securing a construction permit in Baguio is as follows:

Step 1.  Visit and register; fill out all the required information and log in using the account created; if successful, click on the new application to start complying with requirements; choose the type of permit or certificate applied for; provide accurate details of the applicant and the project as the information will be used to fill out multiple forms at once; the applicant will then be redirected to the forms that are already filled out by the information given earlier; check

and provide lacking information on the form and save; repeat the step until all required forms are completed.

At this stage, take note that the building plans to be uploaded are properly scaled at a recommended 1:100 scale using A3 paper size and must be clear, readable and zoomable.  There is no need for the sign and signature of design professionals and owner as it will be done after the application is approved.

Upon completion of all required electronic forms, pay your filing fee at the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) or CBAO.  Only applications with complete and complying documents will be received.  Otherwise, corrections and revisions will be endorsed to the applicant.

Step 2. When received, CPDO will check the compliance of the application as to the zoning requirements; if approved, a simultaneous evaluation between CEPMO, BFP and CBAO will take place; comments and recommendations will be noted by evaluators and the applicant will be informed after all necessary evaluations are made.

As the system provides real time monitoring, the applicant can see the progress of the application and make necessary revisions online; if any enquiries arise during the process, one can use the real time messaging of the system and talk to the evaluator concerned online.

Step 3.  If the applicant is compliant, an email will be sent containing the necessary steps before claiming the permit; download every forms and plans submitted bearing the electronic signature of the evaluators; all printed documents shall be signed and sealed by the design professionals in charge of the project.

The system will embed watermarks on the submitted documents so the applicant should make sure that the right ones are submitted.

Step 4.  Bring the documents to CBAO together with the original signed and sealed copies of:  Zoning clearance form; building permit form; sanitary permit form; notice of construction; electrical permit form; tax declaration from City Assessor’s Office with documentary stamp from CTO; latest quarter of the real property tax receipt or certificate of non-delinquency with documentary stamp from CTO.

Certified true copy of the title (updated not more than six months) or copy of award with approved survey plan (signed and sealed by geodetic engineer); photocopy of updated professional tax receipt and professional identification card (PRCID) of all professional signatories; barangay certificate; certificate of construction safety health program (CSHP) from the Department of Labor and Employment.

Also bring documents/plans signed by private engineers and architects:  Structural design analysis for buildings with floor area of 20.00 square meters or more; electrical design analysis; building specifications; bill of materials; site development and architectural plan; structural plan; electrical plan; sanitary plan; electronics plan.

Finally, pay the fees and claim the permit. – Gaby B. Keith