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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Cebu City mayor raises twin-tower proposal

INSTEAD of banning the construction of high-rise buildings, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is planning to impose special requirements for developers who want to build structures that are more than four levels high. 

In his news conference last Friday, Osmeña said he wanted to require developers who are about to undertake high-rise infrastructure projects in the city to construct twin towers, both of which should be completely fire-proof. 

“But for those in planning stage, I will change the rules. Those that have started already will have to go on. We’re going to address two problems, not only on fire issues but also parking,” he said. 

Osmeña explained that constructing twin-tower buildings would be helpful in cases of fire as it will give access to those who are inside the structure during emergencies, even if they are on the higher floors. However, his plan will not be applicable to those who have already started building this year. 

Osmeña said he wants the council to approve an ordinance on the matter. 

“Hopefully, before the end of this month, I will get an endorsement from the Council on the policy direction as far as high-rise buildings are concerned,” he said. Osmeña said he would also like to hear the sentiments of stakeholders in a public hearing.

Mayor Osmeña previously announced he plans to ban the construction of high-rise buildings after a fire that gutted the Metro Ayala Department Store and Supermarket last January and took nearly three days to put out. 

Real estate representatives in Cebu have said they are willing to sit down with concerned government agencies and the City Government to discuss how all parties can work together to ensure safety standards for high-rise buildings will be observed. (RVC)  
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