OBO chief vows to probe any delay in processing of building permits

File photo
File photo

WITH a guaranteed approval of building permit applications within one hour for those with complete requirements, Cebu City’s Office of the Building Official (OBO) urged applicants to report any employee who deliberately causes any delay in the approval process.

Architect Florante Catalan, the OBO chief, assured that in Cebu City, the processing of building permit applications takes only one hour instead of the usual three days in other offices.

He guaranteed this before developers and contractors attending the CEO Forum of the PhilConstruct Visayas 2023 Expo at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino in Cebu City last Thursday, June 22, 2023.

With the shortened processing time, Catalan said developers and contractors can start their projects immediately, whether it’s a low-rise or high-rise building. This will ensure that construction projects are completed as early as possible, he said.

He said that under the system introduced in August 2022, as soon as the applicant uploads their application and documentary requirements online, all sections of OBO can simultaneously check and approve it in less than an hour.

Applicants also have the option of saving digital copies of their documents in a flash drive to be submitted to the OBO.

“With the system we are currently using, once the application and documentary requirements are uploaded, all sections — from architects, civil engineers, electrical engineers — can evaluate it simultaneously. It’s far from the system before, where the application is passed from section to section,” Catalan said.

If there are discrepancies, the applicant must sign an Affidavit of Undertaking in order for the OBO to issue a building permit and let the construction proceed, with a promise to make revisions and submit the lacking requirements within 60 days.

“We can still mandate you to comply as there are still the occupancy permits and other permits if ever you failed to submit the necessary requirements for a building permit,” Catalan added.

Developers and contractors can also reach out to him directly if any employee of the OBO is deliberately delaying the approval of their application, and Catalan promised to investigate the matter immediately.

Catalan reported that the platform helped increase OBO revenues from P54 million in 2012 to P151 million in 2022.

Catalan said the OBO will soon introduce online issuance and door-to-door delivery of permits.

Applicants will soon be able to print on their own their approved building permits or have these delivered right to their doorstep.


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