Revocation of order on exemptions from building permits studied

BAGUIO CITY – (April 07, 2021) – The city is studying the possible revocation of Administrative Order No. 070, series of 2009, issued by former Mayor Reinaldo A. Bautista, Jr. providing exemptions in obtaining the approval of the City Building Official when applying for the issuance of business permit in several instances to prevent the same from being abused.

City Planning and Development Officer Arch. Donna R. Tabangin stated that currently, applicants for new business permits are denied and asked to look for alternative sites when the areas they intend to conduct their business operations are located within the established road-right-of-way, or in structures that have encroached on the road-right-of-way of roads in various parts of the city.

Under AO No. 70, series of 2009, all business establishments shall secure a business permit with the proper approval of the City Building Official, City Planning and Development Office, City Health Officer, City Fire Marshal and the City Treasurer.

 However, the requisite of obtaining the approval of the City Building Official shall be discarded in special circumstances such as when the structure was built prior to the effectivity of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1096 or the National Building Code; when there is a pending townsite application; when there is a pending application for a building permit when the applicant’s business is a sari-sari store or a small-scale business, and when there is a proof of ownership or a right of possession over the place of business.

Tabangin claimed that in the denial of the application for issuance of business permits for new businesses located in areas that are not supposed to be used for business operations, there are already finger pointing as there are other businesses still operating in similarly situated areas as they were able to renew their permits for this year.

She proposed that the businesses in identified road-right-of-way and those without building permits will have to be red tagged in the city’s system and for them to be informed to look for alternative sites already as their permits will no longer be renewed next year.

For buildings without building permits, particularly the pre-1990 buildings, the city planning officer recommended that owners must present to the city as-built plans and an affidavit of undertaking for them to secure the required building permit or occupancy permit, especially when the same is being rented out as apartments, transient homes, dormitories, among others.

For those properties without titles, she suggested that owners must submit to the concerned offices of the city government the required as-built plans with an affidavit of undertaking to be executed by the owners for them to apply for the titling of their properties and processing of the required building permits.

According to her, the same will start the put up of a database of all structures in the city to ascertain their conditions, among others, to guide policy makers and decision makers in the crafting of future policies governing structures in the city.

Tabangin disclosed that as of March 22, 2021, the city is already implementing a moratorium on zoning exemptions while the parameters for extraordinary circumstances that may be considered for exemption are now being prepared. – Dexter A. See