CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmena will cancel the building permits of two property developers for allegedly failing to correct their violations on time.

He referred to SM Seaside City of SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI) and Il Corso at City di Mare of Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI). Both properties were developed in the South Road Properties (SRP).

“Since they have been reluctant to comply with their violations of the building code, (I will be sending letters telling them about the cancellation of the permits). In the case of FLI, were canceling their building permit, but we will allow the existing tenants to operate. Although, technically, we’re also canceling their occupancy permits,” Osmena told reporters in his news conference yesterday.

Sought for comment, SMPHI told Sun.Star Cebu that it has already communicated with the Office of the Building Official (OBO).

Sun.Star Cebu also tried to reach FLI, but got no response.

Suspension

Last November, the mayor ordered the suspension of the release of all pending building and occupancy permits of SMPHI and FLI, until they can correct their construction violations.

City Government engineers have observed that both developers have violated the mandatory setback for lands abutting a road right-of-way.

Section 804 of the National Building Code of the Philippines provides that for commercial, industrial, institutional and recreational buildings along newly developed thoroughfares, the required minimum setback for land with widths of 30 meters and above eight meters.

In the case of FLI, Osmena alleged that aside from building on a setback, their building permit was invalid.

Il Corso allegedly failed to comply with the regulations on height, yard requirements, lot area and percentage of occupancy.

“They’re taking their time to correct if. Their permit was invalid not only because of the violation, but because the officer-in-charge building official (he did not name) that time was not deputized by DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways),” he said.

He explained that this would mean that the then building official has no authority to sign the building permit.

Promise

As for SMPHI, Osmena said that while then Building Official Engr. Kenneth Enriquez was deputized by the DPWH, the former failed to correct their violations last month, as promised.

“Since they’ve issued their statement that they will clear out their violations, but they haven’t done it, so I’m also canceling their permit,” he said.

He lamented that should SMPHI decide to delay the corrections further, he will close all SMPHI-owned and -operated stores inside the mall.

The encroachment of the SM Seaside Complex on the SRP lot property was discovered last Nov. 10, 2015 during an inspection by DPWH 7 Chief Legal Officer Brando Ray Raya with DPWH geodetic engineers.

Osmena, however, clarified that before the permits are revoked, he will give SMPHI and FLI a chance to explain themselves.

He pointed out that the City Government may cancel an establishment’s permit if found to have violated the City Zoning Ordinance.

“We gave them a chance to correct starting last month, but they didn’t act on it. Maybe, they think they’re exempted from the law. They probably are, but we’ll find out. My friendship is not for sale. Let’s talk about the interest of the Cebuanos,” Osmena said.

Doesn’t care

Asked if this will discourage businessmen from investing in the SRP, he said he “doesn’t care” as some 60 hectares has become “useless” after its entrance from the main road was blocked by FLI’s property.

Building Official Josefa Ylanan, for her part, said SMPHI has informed her that they are still scheduling the corrective works.

“SMPHI said they’re still waiting for the DPWH to approve their scheduling before they can proceed. As for FLI, I sent them a notice on a violation I found. It was not included in their plan. They have yet to reply in writing,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

More than 10 occupancy permits of tenants of SMPHI are currently suspnded by the OBO.

For FLI, Ylanan said that while they are under one developer, they have separate permit applications.