QC gov’t to file charges vs Colegio De San Lorenzo for non-compliance with Building Code

Published August 19, 2022, 12:48 PM

by Aaron Homer Dioquino

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said on Friday, Aug. 19, that the city government will file charges against Colegio De San Lorenzo (CDSL) for its non-compliance with the city’s Building Code.

“We will try to see if the school has complied with its various obligations to the city at napag-alaman namin (and we learned) that the school never had a building permit, never complied with the provisions of the BuildingCcode. Hence, the reason why there are floods in Congressional Avenue is because the school is built on top of a creek,” Belmonte said.

She added that the city already sent notices to the CDSL to take action regarding these concerns.

“Pero hanggang ngayon, wala naman silang hakbang na ginawa (But they have not taken steps until now), so the city will file charges on the basis of these violations and non -compliance with the permits of the city,” the mayor added.

The CDSL had earlier announced its permanent closure due to “financial instability and lack of financial viability brought about by the ongoing pandemic and exacerbated by consistent low enrollment turnout.”

The CDSL was reportedly sold even before its closure.

Lawyer Dale Perral, Department of Building head, said that they will still check when the school was sold and who is the new owner of the property.

The mayor instructed the City Legal Department to look into how the city government can help the individuals affected by the closure and to make sure the school takes responsibility for all the inconveniences suffered by its stakeholders.

Belmonte said there are already 28 schools that expressed willingness to accommodate the displaced students from CDSL.

She added there is a hotline that will connect parents and students to the city’s education affairs unit to get help in finding a new school.

Displaced CDSL personnel and faculty members were also endorsed to the city’s Public Employment and Services Office (PESO) for assistance in finding new jobs.

They can also apply for financial assistance while looking for work, the mayor said.

Belmonte also said that the city, along with the Division of City Schools, will also launch a program for educational recovery to help the faculty members.

“With regards to yung paghingi ng waiver ng paaralan, nagsalita na po na wala pong saysay yan. Kasi hindi po pwedeng limitahin ang legal options ng mga naapektuhan ng problemang ito. A waiver will not solve the problem (With regards to the school’s request for a waiver, I already said that it makes no sense. Because the legal option of those affected by this problem cannot be limited. A waiver won’t solve the problem),” she added.

“Nananawagan ako sa mga taga-Colegio De San Lorenzo, huwag na sana pumilit na pumirma pa ng waiver ang mga magulang at kabataan because it is their right to receive their refund ( I appeal to Colegio De San Lorenzo, please don’t force the parents and the youth to sign a waiver because it is their right to receive their refund,” Bemonte said.

“If the purpose of the school for the parents to sign the waiver is to have proof na narefund na yung binayad ng mga magulang (that the payment made by the parents were already refunded), then I guess, a receipt to that effect is enough. Now, if they are expecting that all other causes of action can be extinguished by that waiver, balewala po yun (it is worthless),” City Legal Officer lawyer Niño Casimiro said.

In a post on Colegio De San Lorenzo Ruiz-College Department’s Facebook page on Thursday, Aug. 18, the institution announced that the students are no longer required to sign waivers to get their checks.