EDITORIAL - The pros and cons of high-rise living

The Freeman

A boy never lived to see his fifth birthday after he plunged from the 27th floor of a high-rise condominium in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City, last Tuesday.

According to reports, the boy was sleeping when he somehow fell out of the window of the condo unit his parents lived in. He landed on a canopy in the third floor and was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

While there may be issues involved here like possible parental neglect, dubious condo design, and lack of safety enforcement standards, we won’t talk about those now. The entire picture isn’t yet clear and an investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

What is clear though is that there are pros and cons to living in a high-rise building, something currently high up in the dreams of every man or woman in Cebu City who has made a substantial fortune.

Many of those living in them know the advantages. You will always have water and electricity 24/7. You don’t have to worry about noisy neighbors and you get an unprecedented level of privacy and security.

Living in a high-rise building also comes with the prestige that you can afford to buy a dwelling away from the usual squalor of the streets. We don’t even have to talk about the view one can afford to pay for.

With that said there are also disadvantages. Condo dwellers actually have a lonely existence as many aren’t even familiar with the very people living in the unit next to them. Then there is also that level of isolation; unlike living at ground level you just can’t go outside and buy whatever little thing you need from the nearby sari-sari store.

And with this tragic incident, another of those disadvantages is possible safety risk. Windows in a high-rise building will always pose a danger to anyone living above a certain height. So will terraces or balconies; something that lets someone enjoy the view below and around them may also be a hazard as much as it is a feature.

Those who want to go for the “high life” should know what attendant disadvantages and risks come with it and be prepared to deal with them for their own safety and that of their family. It’s sad to say that what happened to the boy was totally preventable; we don’t want to see this happen again.

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