DPWH upholds bizman’s raps vs Cebu City
May B. Miasco/RHM (The Freeman) - February 4, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Public Works and Highways head office has denied the Cebu City government’s motion for consideration on its decision reinstating the building and fencing permits of business establishment owner Adrian Lee.

“This Office finds no cogent reason to disturb, overturn or set aside the resolution dated November 9, 2015 issued by this Office,” read the three-page January 25, 2016 resolution signed by DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson.

Lee owned the two-storey Camia Street Cafe and Restaurant along Don Jose Avila Street that was ordered closed by the city in July 2015. The city, through the Office of the Building Official, had said the building violated the setback requirement provided by the building code and that his business has an expired permit and lacked a certificate of occupancy.

The Cebu City Zoning Board, to OBO Officer-in-charge Jose Marie Poblete is a member, revoked Lee’s locational clearance due to the building’s non-compliance with the mandated setback requirement.

A locational clearance is a vital requirement in the issuance of the building and fencing permits.

As provided for by the National Building Code, Lee raised the matter with the DPWH national office.

Last November 9, Singson directed Poblete, the appellee of the administrative case Lee filed, to reinstate both the permits OBO issued to Lee’s business operations.

This prompted City Hall to file a motion for reconsideration, which Singson denied because of the “fatal absence” of due process provided to Lee.

 “Assuming the findings of the Cebu City Zoning Board are correct and indeed there are violations of the Building Code, the appellee (Poblete) should have first afforded the appellant (Lee) due process in accordance with the duties of building officials set forth in the National Building Code (P.D. 1096) and its implementing Rules and Regulations, specifically Section 207 thereof, which provides (that) the Building Official shall have the following duties: Upon complaint or motu propio and after due notices and hearing, initiate actions towards, non-issuance suspension, revocation and invalidation of a building permit or certificate of occupancy,” read the January 25 resolution.

It also said Poblete did not conduct an inspection and hearing in his capacity as OBO chief but “merely relied on the Cebu City Zoning Board’s resolution.”

It likewise said that basis of Poblete’s decision must be from the hearings and inspection he should have conducted and “not solely on the findings of another body which in this case is the CCZB.”

“It goes without saying that the [Poblete’s] duties and responsibilities as a member of the CCZB are separate and distinct from his duties as a Building Official. Hence, the proceedings conducted under the CCZB must be considered as a mere ingredient of the indispensable proceedings of due notice and hearing of the Office of the Building Official,” Singson said.

Sought for his comment following the latest DPWH decision, City Hall lawyer Bernard Inocentes Garcia said they will file a petition for review before the Office of the President.  (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC BUILDING BUILDING OFFICIAL CEBU CITY ZONING BOARD CITY CITY HALL LEE NATIONAL BUILDING CODE OFFICE OF THE BUILDING OFFICIAL POBLETE SINGSON
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