City gov’t freezes work on new Mandurriao bldg

Public Safety and Transportation Management Office head Jeck Conlu says they had to close the service road near this building under construction in Barangay Bolilao, Mandurriao, Iloilo City to keep the public safe. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN

ILOILO City – The city government’s Office of the Building Official (OBO) has stopped all construction activities at a new building in Barangay Bolilao, Mandurriao district where a young man lost a foot in a freak Black Saturday accident.

The work stoppage order was issued yesterday three days after another accident there – a glass panel from the 18-storey building crashed into two passing vehicles around 2 p.m. on April 14.

City Engineer Roberto Divinagracia said the order was “effective immediately” and would remain in effect until “until after safety issues will be resolved.”

On Saturday right after the second incident, the Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) of the city government closed to public use the service road in front of the building.

Yesterday PSTMO head Jeck Conlu said the road was reopened for public use following the issuance of the work stoppage order.

“We will schedule another inspection. Kon ma-satisfy kami sa mga additional safety measures kag kon makita namon nga safe na gid man, that is the time we will recommend to lift the work stoppage order,” said Conlu.

In the April 14 incident, while the two vehicles were damaged their drivers were unhurt. They were Gabriel Lorenzo, 20, of Ledesco Village, La Paz district and Vincent Perosia, 44, of Oton, Iloilo.

“This is negligence,” said Chief Inspector Juvy Navales, Mandurriao police chief.

The building contractor and owner “should do something to ensure public safety,” she stressed.

Last week, the City Engineer’s Office (CEO) confirmed it withdrew the partial occupancy permit issued to the new building.

“Ginsira naton temporarily asta matapos gid ang tanan nga construction nila sa peripheral nila, especially ang pag-install nila sang glass panels,” said Engr. Roberto Divinagracia, CEO chief.

The CEO issued an occupancy permit for a portion of the building (first five floors as parking area) November last year.

“Wala namon na-anticipate nga hukson man nila ang safety nets kay interior na lang ang ila kalay-uhon,” said Divinagracia.

Issuing a partial occupancy permit is allowed under National Building Code, especially if the building is found to be compliant with requirements, he explained.

On March 31, a part of a construction equipment being used on the building fell on a 16-year-old lad below. He lost his right foot.

The incident raised doubts on the safety practices of the construction company building it.

The CEO decided on the withdrawal notwithstanding the statement from the OBO that the building was safe for public use.

“Our OBO Team won’t approve the occupancy permit if that portion of the building was found unsafe,” according to OBO building inspector Engineer Jonberlie Ladua.

Ladua said the first five stories of the building used as parking area were compliant with the requirements such as mechanical, plumbing, electrical, architectural, line and grade, and structural.

The OBO conducted an inspection on April 2 and noted that there were no more works outside the building, thus, there was no need for debris catches, added Ladua.

Following Saturday’s accident, PSTMO’s Conlu said the closure of the service road was the least that could be done to ensure public safety in the area.

“Tani service access road pa ina ugaling natabo naman liwat. Indi ko pwedi ibutang sa risgo ang mga motorists kag pumuloyo nga naga agi dira,” said Conlu./PN

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