BUTUAN CITY—Building Officials, Fire Marshalls and LGU departments involved in the issuance of construction permits of the 6 cities of Caraga Region were given a training on Streamlining Building Permits and Certificates of Occupancy last September 24-26, 2018 at the Butuan Grand Palace Hotel, this city.

In response to the President’s call to streamline all government transactions and contribute to improve the country’s ranking in global competitiveness surveys, the DILG through the Bureau of Local Government Development (BLGD), in collaboration with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)m Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2018-01: Guidelines in Streamlining the Processes for the Issuance of Building Permits and Certificates of Occupancy, dated January 04, 2018.

This year’s target in Caraga for the implementation of the JMC are all cities, i.e. Bayugan, Bislig, Butuan, Cabadbaran, Surigao and Tandag. This will be expanded to include all municipalities in subsequent years.

In order to capacitate the LGUs in understanding and complying with this guidelines, a Training Workshop was conducted with resource speakers from the DILG Caraga, BLGD, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Caraga and an invited Building Official from Oton, Iloilo in the person of Engr. Ernesto Ticao.

Among the reforms instituted in the JMC is the setting use of a unified form, the establishment of a One-Stop Shop for Construction Permits, and setting of the standard number of steps at 4 steps, and standard processing time at 5 days. It is to be noted that the processing time assumes that all requisite documents are complete.

The JMC covers simple applications for building permits and certificates of occupancy. It refers to applications for structures not exceeding 1,500 square meters: single dwelling residential buildings of not more than 2 floors or storeys; commercial buildings of not more than 2 floors/storeys; renovation within a mall with issued building permit; and warehouses storing non-hazardous substance.

The One-Stop shop concept implores the One-Government and Accessibility of Government Services principles. For this, the co-location of LGU departments involved in the application for these permits have been recommended. It is envisioned that the applicants will only submit all required documents to one receiving officer and every process pertinent to the application of the permit are incorporated, such as the verification by the Assessor over the tax declaration, the Treasurer over tax clearances, and the zoning officer over the locational clearance; the evaluation by Office of Building Official as to technical requirements (e.g. line and grade, architectural, structural, plumbing/sanitary, electrical, etc.), joint inspection and verification by building inspectors and BFP; fire safety evaluation/inspection by the BFP, and a one-time assessment including barangay fees, then payment of fees and release of all documents.

“This training is very timely because just this May, the president signed into law the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Law or RA 11032 which includes the streamlining of all LGU permits, including construction permits. We are here to help capacitate the LGUs to know the standards and the guidelines in achieving these standards so that we are compliant to the law which imposes severe sanctions to those culpable of violations,” says Lilibeth A. Famacion, DILG Caraga Regional Director.

“But more than just avoiding sanctions, streamlining our construction permitting processes improves our rankings in the Doing Business report of the international committee where we severely lag behind other countries, and will redound to the benefit of our investors and business communities as well as the general public,” Famacion added.

Meantime, the DILG will continue to capacitate LGUs in the endeavor to make LGUs more business friendly and competitive among the other major sectoral outcomes targeted by the Department.

by: Don Manuelo O. Patrimonio, LGOO V

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