Press Release
May 30, 2011


Senator Chiz Escudero wants government officials involved in the false issuance of building permits hauled to jail for life under Senate Bill No. 2843 (SBN 2483) he filed aimed to strengthen the National Building Code of the country.

Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, said the growing concern over the impact of geologic hazards to the structural integrity of infrastructures in the country stems from the false issuance of building permits by local officials.

"There is a strong reason for concern about the integrity of our buildings and other infrastructures. We are not far from geologic hazards that randomly hit anywhere now, posing imminent dangers to lives and properties. We may not predict when these disasters will strike but we can very well prepare ourselves against further risks by ensuring that our structures can insulate us from more damages," Escudero said.

Under the existing National Building Code or the Presidential Decree No. 1096 (PD No. 1096), contractors are required to seek building permits, certifications or clearances from government building officials prior to construction of any establishment.

Escudero, however, said anecdotal evidence showed that most infrastructures - residential houses and buildings - all over the country were erected or are being built without complying with the provisions of the National Building Code because of the proliferation of questionable building permits.

"Our building code and its guidelines are at par with international standards. But sub-standard structures are sprouting anywhere in the country because building clearances or permits can be obtained for dime a dozen because of erring government building officials who give issuances without care for a fee," Escudero explained.

To stop this malpractice and ensure that building designs meet the requirements of the law, Escudero is seeking a stiff and severe penalty against building officials who violate pertinent provisions of the building code.

SBN 2483 penalizes building officials who will falsely issue building permits, clearances, certificates or certifications relative to their functions with reclusion perpetua, absolute perpetual disqualification to hold office and permanent revocation of professional license.

False issuance means any form of misrepresentation, deceit, machination of truth or fraud in the inspection of buildings and issuance of permits, clearances, certificates or certifications pursuant to PD No. 1096.

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