BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance prescribing the minimum thickness and concrete base composition of the vaults used in all banks, pawnshops and similar establishments in the city and providing penalties for violations of the measure.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated it will be a declared policy of the local government to protect and safeguard the life, property, liberty, maintain peace and order, and work for the general welfare of its constituents.
The ordinance stipulated that the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) in coordination with the City Engineering Office shall be in charge of formulating the appropriate guidelines and recommend the specific thickness of the concrete base of vaults and its composition or materials used, and ensure that the same are at par with the minimum standards prescribed by existing laws, rules and regulations.
Under the provisions of the ordinance, no business permit or permit to operate shall be issued or renewed for business establishments unless the minimum requirements pursuant to the guidelines on the thickness of vaults and the concrete base of vaults of banks, pawnshops and other similar establishments pursuant to the recommendations of the CBAO and CEO shall have been complied with.
Further, a fine amounting to P5,000 shall be imposed on any establishment in operation found to have violated the provisions of the measure as per inspection conducted by the concerned offices of the local government.
The ordinance added that after 30 days from the initial findings of non-compliance, continued or subsequent failure to comply with the provisions of the measure shall constitute ground for the immediate suspension, revocation, or cancellation of the concerned establishment’s business permit.
The Permits and Licensing Division of the City Mayor’s Office shall notify all banks, pawnshops and similar establishments in the city to comply with the minimum thickness of vaults and concrete base composition for the renewal of their permits upon the approval of the local legislative measure.
However, all establishments that were able to initially comply with the pertinent rules and regulations issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas shall be given a 3-year depreciation period of its previously constructed vaults before being required to comply with the minimum specifications enshrined in the said measure.
Yangot noted that 67 percent of all burglars gain entrance somewhere other than the front door of banks, pawnshops and other similar financial institutions and that the management of such establishments already expressed alarm over the reported increasing number of robbery incidents involving rogue miners who tunnel way into their establishments instead of breaking windows or crawling ceilings, they tunnel their way into the exact location of vaults.
He explained that setting a standard minimum thickness or composition of the concrete base where the vault will be fixed would further secure the valuables contained in the said establishments.
By Dexter A. See