It took only one hearing for Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. to wrap up committee deliberation of a bill which sought to amend the Local Government Code of 1991.
This after Sen. Bongbong, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, finished in just a single public hearing on Tuesday the discussion of his Senate Bill 2235, amending Section 443, 454, 463, and 477 of RA No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.
Among others, the bill, which he had filed, sought to create a regular position for building official for each city, municipality and province.
During the hearing, resource persons representing the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Interior and Local Government, United Architects Association of the Philippines, League of Cities of the Philippines, Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association, Inc., all agreed that all cities and first class and second class municipalities shall have each an appointed regular building official.
For the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth class municipalities, municipal engineers will act as building officials if they are qualified and will undergo mandatory continuous trainings.
“The general concept, just to be very clear, is that from this discussion, it’s clear that cities, first class and second class municipalities will need a separate building official. The rest of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth class municipalities, it’s sufficient, considering the load of work and the kind of applications that they have to assess, that if they are qualified municipal engineers and they undergo training with the public works, they will be of sufficient competence to be able to do the job,” Sen. Bongbong said.
The Senator's bill seeks to mandate the separate appointments of building officials at the city and municipal level to address the organizational inefficiencies in the local government units caused by the dual roles being played by the local engineers.
Under the law, building officials carry out the provisions of the National Building Code. However, the National Building Code does not provide for their appointments and the city or municipal engineers, whose appointments are provided for under the Local Government Code, doubles as building officials.
With the public hearing already completed, the Senator said a technical working group meeting will be immediately conducted.
“The next thing is a technical working group so that we put this into specifics…This is the first bill that we finished in just one hearing…that’s great,” he said.