BAGUIO CITY June 02 – The city council directed the members of the task force on boarding and lodging houses to formulate the updated regulations that will be implemented by the city government in order to ensure the safety of individuals residing in the structures being rented out, especially to the student population of the city.
The local legislative body came out with the request to the task force after discovering that the city government is relying on an outdate ordinance as its guide in the monitoring of the over 3,590 boarding houses that sprouted in the city over the past several years.
The council stated the provisions of Ordinance No. 513, series of 1969 that prescribed the standards of a room to be occupied by the student is already outdate considering the rapid increase in boarding houses and the student population of the city, thus, the need for the monitoring task force to formulate its rules and regulations that will be put in place to conform with the trend of the times.
Under the ordinance regulating the operation of boarding houses in the city, the standard room to be occupied by one person must be 3 cubic meters or equivalent to 3 meters by 3 meters and a height of nine feet and that boarding houses must have a study room, reception area among others as well as one water faucet and one latrine for every ten persons occupying the boarding house.
Based on initial results of the inspections conducted by the task force, among the problems of boarding houses include lack of fire exits, blocked fire exits, inadequate lighting of fire exits, mixed males and females in the boarding houses, poor sanitation, narrow and overcrowded rooms and poor facilities.
The council wants the task force to come up with their recommendations on how to improve the monitoring of boarding houses in the different parts of the city in order to prevent the occurrence of untoward incidents that might put to risk lives and limb and expose the members of the task force to numerous cases that would affect their performance in public service.
The task force boarding houses is composed of representatives from the city permits and licensing division, city building and architecture office, Bureau of Fire Protection, Baguio City Police Office, city health office, city planning and development office and the Department of Labor and Employment.
The council advised the task force that each office should be duly represented during the conduct of inspections on the operation of boarding houses so that their findings and recommendations will be immediately forwarded to the city permits and licensing division for appropriate action whether or not to renew the business permits of the operators or grant the permits of new applicants.
According to Dr. Braille Van Reyes, city permits and licensing officer, the renewal of permits of real estate lessors or the grant of permits to new applicants depends on the findings and recommendations of the concerned offices that are members of the task force because their findings and recommendations will be submitted to their office.
He said the implementation of the electronic business licensing system has done owners in the monitoring of erring establishments in the different parts of the city. By Dexter A. See