Davao biz chamber President urges amendments to National Building Code

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 November) — The President of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) has called for a review of the four-decade-old Presidential Decree (1096) or the National Building Code of the Philippines to provide stricter regulations and standards.

DCCCII President Arturo Milan said during Wednesday’s Habi at Kape that it is high time to amend the law, enacted on February 19,1976 during the term of late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., to compel developers and residential owners to conform to the buildings standards.

The façade of Eva’s Hotel along Quezon Blvd. in the heart of Kidapawan City that crumbled after the magnitude 6.5 quake that hit North Cotabato Thursday morning (31 October 2019). MindaNews photo by JULES L. BENITEZ

He said there should be a new set of standards on structural design and construction methodology, particularly in the construction of houses, as most of those who lost their homes due to the powerful earthquakes last month had their homes built without proper standards.

“There is a need to amend and review the Building Code to set standards on the structural design and construction methodology because most of those that went into, mata mata lang (estimation only), these were those whose were destroyed,” he added.

Milan said he saw several houses destroyed in Makilala, North Cotabato during a relief operation of the DCCCII.

“I saw a house in Makilala natunga iyang balay — ang banda sa kusina og sa sala natunga (I saw a house in Makilala that was torn in half – that part of the kitchen and the other half the living room),” he added.

As of Tuesday, Milan said the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management Philippines (APAD Philippines), a transnational aid alliance, recorded a total of 42,196 families or 260,286 individuals, 22,678 houses totally damaged, and 13,082 houses partially damaged in earthquake-affected areas in Mindanao.

He said members of the local chapter of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers are conducting an inspection on all structures in Davao City.

“I would like to talk to them if they can move further to really propose, amendments to the Building Code so that reinforces what Senator Bong Go would like to push in Congress,” he added.

Japheth Diones, Vice President for Internal Affairs of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Associations Inc. (CREBA) Davao, said many of the prospective condominium unit buyers backed out from the transactions as they now fear living in condominiums after a five-story condo tower of Ecoland Residences 4000 of the property developer DMC-Urban Property Developers Inc. (DMC-UPDI) collapsed due to the magnitude 6.5 earthquake last October 31.

Workers check on the damage in one of the buildings of Ecoland 4000 condominiums in Davao City after the magnitude 6.5 earthquake Thursday morning (31 October 2019). MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Four powerful quakes above Magnitude 6 have struck parts of Mindanao between October 15 and 31; 6.3 on October 16, 6.6 and 6.1 on October 29 and 6.5 on October 31.

“Yong ibang buyer ko (Some of my buyers) they diverted into traditional dwellings like living in a house while others are adopting a wait and see attitude kung babalik pa ba ang lindol (if these earthquakes would recur),” he added. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)