Cagayan de Oro City buildings inspected-A A +A
Thursday, October 17, 2013
THE Office of the City Building Official (OBO) has identified buildings in Cagayan de Oro for inspection due to safety and stability concerns even before the intensity 4 tremor hit the city on Tuesday.
“We came up with a list of buildings to inspect,” said Architect Maria Alcantara, assistant OBO official.
She added that the department sent two teams on Thursday to assess and evaluate buildings in the city, especially those that showed previous “concerns.”
Some of the buildings that are on OBO’s list are Trinidad building at Corrales-Yacapin streets, Landbank-Velez branch, SM carpark, San Agustin Cathedral, Madonna and Child Hospital’s old building, Sabal Hospital at Velez street, Lantoria building and Gaisano City mall’s food court, said Alcantara.
“Mao ni sila ang una although daghan ang naa sa list (These are the first on the list although there are more),” said Alcantara, referring to the eight buildings she enumerated.
“The intensity 4 earthquake did not affect structural stability,” said Engr. Jack Lumacang, OBO administrator.
He added that OBO inspection teams checked on Wednesday four buildings including SM City mall and Koresco hotel.
Lumacang said the teams reported minor defects regarding SM’s elevated parking.
“We recommended repairs, but as of now the SM’s elevated parking is safe for use,” said Lumacang.
The inspection of Trinidad building which was led by Engr. Luiben Magto showed that the building’s electrical wirings in the 6th and 2nd floors are prone to “overload.”
“The circuit breakers in the 6th and 2nd floors are prone to overheat,” said Lumacang, adding that they have suggested electrical upgrades following the correct procedures.
Lumacang said they have advised the building owner to check the building’s electrical installations.
However, Lumacang assured that the buildings in the city are designed to withstand intensity 8 earthquakes.
“Before i-approve ang permit dapat naka-comply na sila sa tanan (Before building permits are approved they should comply with all the requirements),” said Alcantara.
“Although the methods are old, but the building plans in the city are not obsolete,” said Alcantara, explaining that they follow the National building code of the Philippines or RA No. 6541.
According to the website chanrobles.com, the National Building Code of the Philippines is a policy of the state to “safeguard life, health, property, and public welfare.”
However, Alcantara said that possible problems may come from the implementation of building plans and the supervision during construction.
“Ang krimen naa sa implementation and supervision (The fault could be in the implementation and supervision),” said Alcantara adding that these aspects in building construction is out of his office's league.
She added that they cannot check if the constructed buildings are following the building code because they only have two inspectors that conduct random checking during constructions.
“Our inspections are not that intensive because we only have two inspectors,” said Alcantara.
In an interview with Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro, structural engineer Antonio Acupan from the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines said that the plan of the building and the implementation could be different.
Alcantara added that although they cannot check thoroughly the implementation of building plans, the private engineers in charge of building construction has a 15-year liability with regard to building stability.
“The engineers have 15 years liability on the buildings they supervised,” said Alcantara.
Alcantara said the buildings which the OBO is prioritizing for inspection are those that have exceeded the years wherein the engineers in charge could be held liable.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 18, 2013.