Amendment of Boarding House Ordinance Sought
June 20, 2015
BAGUIO CITY – Councilor Joel Alangsab sought the amendment of a 1969 ordinance regulating the management of lodging establishments in the city.
This was an offshoot of the city council’s recent dialogue with the members of the city’s composite team inspecting boarding houses where the state of the lodging establishments was discussed.
Alangsab’s proposed amendments cover the provision of additional amenities for the convenience and safety of the students.
He proposed that before business permits will be issued, the establishments will first be subjected to an inspection by the city’s composite team to ensure that the amenities are provided.
For the convenience, the owners will be required to provide a well-ventilated study room equipped with reading tables, chairs and satisfactory Wi-Fi or internet connection.
For safety, owners will be required to install Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs) with a minimum of two units for each floor for big establishments and minimum of two for small or single storey buildings.
The composite team will be authorized to conduct announced and unannounced inspections to be coordinated with all the members and recorded with the city permits and licensing division. The team will submit a report with recommendations to the city mayor and the city council as basis for the issuance of the permit.
The team will be composed of representatives of the Bureau of Fire Protection Baguio on check on the compliance with the requirements of Republic Act 9524 or the Fire Code of the Philippines, the city buildings and architecture office to check on compliance with Presidential Decree 1096 of the National Building Code, city health services office on the compliance with Presidential Decree 856 or Health and Sanitation Code of the Philippines, public order and safety division to monitor and oversee compliance with pertinent laws, the Baguio City Police Office to ensure compliance with the CCTV requirement, require owners to submit a list of their boarders, maintain a master list and check on compliance with curfew laws, permits and licensing division to ensure their compliance with permits and fees required and the Dept. of Labor and Employment on compliance with labor laws.
Alangsab’s proposal was approved on first reading and referred to the city council committee on laws for recommendation.
During the dialogue, the need for the updating of the old ordinance regulating the operation of these businesses and for the revision of the standards based on the present day scenario was brought up after members of the team discussed the present condition of the lodging establishments.
Some provisions of the ordinance are not anymore applicable to the present conditions of the establishments and the composite team just compromised on the criteria of judging the safety and sanitation of a boarding house — for as long the boardinghouse is safe and sanitary — with fire safety apparatus, fire exits and clean rooms and not overcrowded – then it will pass the inspection.
Licensing officer Braille Van Reyes said there are 3,590 boarding houses and four dormitories issued permits this year./A Refuerzo