YMCA: Building still safe despite cracks due to quakes

THE Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) management, which houses the Court of Appeals-Mindanao Station, insisted on Wednesday, December 11, that their building is safe for occupancy.

Sol Marie Ucab, YMCA general secretary, sent to SunStar Cagayan de Oro inspection findings of the Office of the Building Official (OBO) and two private engineers who assessed the structural integrity of the YMCA building.

A letter from Building Official Engineer Isidro Obligado noted cracks on the different parts of the building, but added that the main structural member such as columns and beams are stable and there is no sign of structural failure.

The OBO also directed the management to retrofit minor cracks.

Meanwhile, Engineers Jenito Asequia and Augusto Saarena also conducted two inspections of the building, on November 5 and November 20.

The engineers also noted minimal defects in the structure.

"The absence of severe cracks or damage in the main structural frame indicate that the structure as a whole has retained its seismic capacity despite the presence of the minimal defects," the report said.

The minor damage, they added, can be repaired.

These findings are contrary to the letter issued by CA-Mindanao Executive Justice Edgardo Camello, stating that a team of engineers determined that the YMCA building is no longer suitable for human occupancy due to the large cracks found on the floor slabs and beams.

On November 18, Court of Appeals (CA)-Mindanao Station is advised to vacate its office on Julio Pacana Street, Barangay 21, Cagayan de Oro City.

Camello has asked the Supreme Court's approval to secure a temporary office for the frontline offices, particularly the receiving section to restore the basic administrative functions.

The CA-Mindanao expressed its intent to lease an office space in One Providence and in SM CDO Downtown Tower.

Currently, the CA-Mindanao Station still holds office at the YMCA building.


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