Legislation on cockpits' safety sent to committees

THE legislation for the inspection of the safety of cockpits in Davao City prior to the issuance of the renewal of business permits was referred to different committees of the 18th City Council Tuesday, March 28.

Davao City Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang moved for the referral of the item to committees on health, public works games and amusements for further study after it was found in the session Tuesday that building structure of Mintal Galleria, a cockpit applying for a special permit for another cockfight, is found to be unsafe by an official from City building official.

During the session, the City Council found that the office of the building official only conducts inspection for the new permits and not for renewed permits.

Jonalisa Villamor, operator of Mintal Galleria, defended that the sanitation and building inspection was only done Tuesday and since she was the operator for three years, no application for sanitation permit was sent to them.

She also said that no notice was observably given to them for the inspection of building stability.

"Actually, naga-depend mi sa sulti sa Bureau of Fire Protection kung kinahanglan i-renovate ang building (We are depending on the statement of the Bureau of Fire and Protection if they have to renovate the building)," she added.

She also said the reason why the inspector found their comfort rooms dirty because there had been a cockfight the night before and they did not have time to clean the area.

An officer for the City Building Official also confirmed that it is the first time they inspected the area.

"We never inspected it before...ang renewal ay hindi dumadaan sa amin. Malalaman lang ang new kasi kailangan ng business bureau ang occupancy permit (The renewal doesn't go through us. We only know what's new becayse the business bureau needs occupancy permit)," Engineer Agnes Bonjoc District III, Building official, occupancy permit division, said.

Bonjoc said they will recommend the stoppage of the operation of the Mintal Galleria since they found it unsafe and its structure is infested by termites.

Majority floor leader Bernard Al-ag said the inspection of the area is very important because the council is issuing special permits for the cockfights to ensue.

Davao City Councilor Jesus Joseph Zozobrado said there seemed to be negligence between the operator and officials of the city.

"There must be something we should do to ensure that the buildings are safe, not only effective to the Mintal cockpit but also the other cockpits existing in the city," Zozobrado said.

Dayanghirang, in a separate interview, said the council should be careful in issuing special permits because the council will be held liable in case of untoward incidents will happen in the area.
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