Owner of severely damaged hotel in Kidapawan given ultimatum to demolish building

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 16 Nov) – The mayor here has given the management of the severely damaged hotel as a result of the magnitude 6.5 earthquake here last month an ultimatum to start the demolition of their structure.

The façade of Eva’s Hotel. MindaNews file photo by JULES L. BENITEZ

Mayor Joseph Evangelista said that Eva’s Hotel, whose façade collapsed, is posing dangers to the commuting public and to buildings near it, including a hospital and a food chain.

The mayor has created a task force to oversee the demolition, which he said should start “as soon as possible.”

The task force is composed of the Office of the Building Official, the City Engineering Office, personnel from the Department of Public Works and Highways, and members of the Structural Engineers Association of the Philippines.

Evangelista stressed he will leave the fate of the hotel to the task force but he wanted it done immediately.

“What we consider primarily in this plan is the general welfare and the business interests of those structures near the hotel,” he added.

Eva’s Hotel, one of the tallest buildings located at the heart of the city, is reportedly worth P750 million.

Evangelista said that while the hotel is still standing along the highway, it poses risks, hazards, and dangers to structures near it, including the Kidapawan Doctors Hospital, Inc., Chowking, and a few residential houses.

He said that while Eva’s hotel is still standing, all the other business establishments around it are closed for business. “If they’re close, there’s no work. And when there’s no work, the employees’ families have nothing to eat,” the mayor explained.

He clarified, though, that the possibility of using explosives in the demolition “is not feasible and is very remote.”

“No. That kind of demolition is only used in the [United States] or in advanced countries. We can’t do that here,” Evangelista said.

The demolition, he said, would be done floor-by-floor and could continue for the next three months.

The mayor also allayed fears that there were people who died as most of the building’s façade collapsed as commuters smelled something rotten or decaying inside.

He said these fears are unfounded.

Evangelista said the local police have no reports of missing guests or employees of the hotel. “Though at this time we still can’t get inside,” he admitted, adding that “maybe after everything has been completed, we will know where that stinking smell is coming from. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)