The House Committee on Public Works and Highways, headed by Surigao del Sur Rep. Romeo Momo, approved the unnumbered substitute bill that would create a new Philippine Building Act of 2023.
The bill seeks to ensure the safety of public and private infrastructures from devastations brought by natural calamities, such as typhoons and earthquakes.
Photo from Rep. Momo via Facebook
New PH building law substitute bill hurdles House panel
At a glance
The House Committee on Public Works and Highways on Wednesday, March 8, approved the unnumbered substitute bill that would create a new Philippine Building Act of 2023 to ensure the safety of public and private infrastructures from devastations brought by natural calamities, such as typhoons and earthquakes.
The second deliberation on the bill on Wednesday led to the unanimous approval of the proposed measure by the committee headed by Surigao del Sur 1st District Rep. Romeo Momo.
“As we have pointed out last Feb. 20, meeting, this measure is timely and important in view of the recent catastrophes we are experiencing, just yesterday, Davao de Oro was struck by a magnitude 6.2 earthquake,” the lawmaker said, referring to the initial deliberation.
“My dear colleagues, in our hands now lie the safety of our people against the destructive effects of these natural hazards by making the buildings in the Philippines much safer for the people and more resistant to natural hazards, for the benefit of the present and future generations,” he added.
Momo said his committee has already received the comments and recommendations from different stakeholders from the public and private sectors.
These have already been incorporated into the March 7 version of the draft substitute bill.
However, the lawmaker added that “there are still some who have yet to come up with their recommendations and submit the same to the committee for us to be able to study and consider the same” in time for the committee report.
“And for those who will not be able to submit their official position paper, perhaps you can submit the same to our Senate counterpart since we cannot wait for your submission any longer as this will delay the passage of this very important piece of legislation here in the lower house,” Momo said.
Earlier, the lawmaker bemoaned the current National Building Code, which was promulgated in 1977, as he cited the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkiye and Syria last month, as well as the Philippines’ own vulnerability to natural disasters.
HB No. 3442, or the “Philippine Building Act of 2022” by Momo seeks to establish a classification system for buildings, requirements for each type of construction, occupancy, location and zoning, hazard zones and special sites, and design.
It also wants the formation of a National Building Office to issue and promulgate rules, approve changes on the standards, issue appropriate orders, such as cease and desist and demolition, and appoint local building officials and Regional Building Appeals Board.