Press Release
October 18, 2013


With the country going through major weather disturbances bearing geologic hazards, Senator Chiz Escudero said a comprehensive inspection of buildings nationwide must be done to check its structural safety and integrity.

Senate Bill No. (SBN) 420 proposes a mandatory nationwide inspection of residential and commercial buildings by a composite team from different government agencies. The bill stipulates that the department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and all leagues of local government units, shall initiate and conduct the inspection

Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, said that the country has been hit left and right with natural disasters like the recent Central Visayas earthquake which devastated old and new infrastructures alike.

"We are now coming face to face with the realities of landslides, flash floods, earthquakes and we witness how structures and constructions in the country did not respond well to its natural impacts. We need a comprehensive review of the National Building Code to ensure that our infrastructures are safe for use."

The bill seeks to tighten the existing regulations and laws contained in the Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1096 or the National Building Code. The result of the comprehensive inspection will determine the issuance by building officials concerned the certificate of inspections and clearance.

The senator said the bill also put in place a mechanism to impose stiffer penalties against building officials who violate pertinent provisions of the national building codes.

"There are anecdotal evidence suggesting that there is a serious concern with false issuance of building permits, clearances and certifications to some building contractors by errant building officials. This malevolent practice exposes the public to injuries, damages or worse, death. We want to prevent this from happening and punish those who will commit such."

Building officials who will commit fraud, misrepresentation and deceit in the inspection of buildings and issuance of permits or certificates pursuant to PD 1096 face the penalty of reclusion perpetua, perpetual disqualification to hold office and permanent revocation of professional license.

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