CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Office of the Building Official (OBO) issued 467 building permits and 328 occupancy permits as of November 12, 2020, since the start of the year amid the pandemic.
Architect Florante Catalan, Cebu City’s building official, said this number would show the success of the online permit application that the OBO implemented in 2019 and improved again in 2020.
The OBO’s online system made it possible to process building permits within the day as long as the requirements are complete and valid.
“Ma-encourage man gud sila kay paspas ang pag apply, dili na gyod hasol. (People are encouraged because the process is now easy, it is not difficult to apply),” said Catalan in an interview on November 12, 2020.
The OBO also reported a zero backlog for all applications within the year, even though the office operated under limited capacity during the community quarantine.
Catalan has expressed satisfaction that the online system has successfully helped applicants fast-track their permits.
However, the number of ongoing constructions also leads to concerns for the safety of the workers and the construction sites following the incident of a worker who fell from the 33rd floor of a building being constructed on India Street in Cebu I.T. Park, Barangay Apas on Saturday afternoon, November 7, 2020.
The construction has been temporarily suspended until the construction management has responded to the summons of the OBO and will implement the safety and mitigating measures in their site.
Catalan urged the construction sites to prioritize safety at all times.
“Sa usa ka site dapat naa gyod pirmi ang architect or engineer. Dapat dunay safety engineer kanunay nga magbantay. (In a site, the engineer of architect should always be there. There should be a safety engineer overseeing the construction),” said the building official.
He urged them to maintain safety in their construction site because should accidents happen, the OBO will be forced to suspend their construction and this will only lead to delays. /dbs