“We will ask BFP to audit on the high-rise building especially the older buildings because their systems are outdated,” Councilor Eduardo Rama told reporters during the first Kapihan with Team Rama Councilors yesterday.
Team Rama Councilors to executive department: Check old buildings’ safety measure
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - January 12, 2018 - 12:01am

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City government should not only focus on the new construction of medium- and high-rise buildings but also on the existing buildings that were built before the updated safety measures were established.

This was the position of the Team Rama-allied city councilors on the move of the executive department withholding the permits of 31 projects in the city.

“We will ask BFP (Bureau of Fire Department) to audit on the high-rise building especially the older buildings because their systems are outdated,” Councilor Eduardo Rama told reporters during the first Kapihan with Team Rama Councilors yesterday.

Rama said the BFP should not only focus on the new construction but also on the existing structures as well.

He said he has read several reports about fire incidents that hit high-rise buildings not only in the city and the country but also abroad.

“When you read through the articles, it is not the height of the buildings but most fire incidents occurred because their safety measures did not work,” he said.

Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera agreed with the statement of Rama, saying those buildings constructed before the year 2000 do not have sprinklers system, smoke detectors, among others.

Pesquera said banning the construction of high-rise buildings, as planned by Mayor Tomas Osmeña, is not a solution to address the concern on fire safety measures.

“We have existing laws. We have a Building Code and Fire Code.  We just need a strict implementation of the law,” she said.

Pesquera said owners of these high-rise buildings should not only limit their safety measures as what is provided by the law but also upgrade it religiously.

She said construction of medium- and high-rise buildings are already the trend nowadays because of the increase in land value.

Aside from improving the capability of the fire department, the councilors said they will also make a legislation that will mandate all building administrators to conduct fire drills.

Further, Pesquera said there’s a need to strengthen the information dissemination about the fire prevention.

Councilor Joel Garganera, for his part, said the city government should assist the fire department in upgrading their equipment and gears.

He said he has already set an executive session with the fire department officials to discuss this matter on January 16. (FREEMANNEWS)

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