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BAGUIO CITY – Reminded with the recent series of earthquakes that struck Zambales, Pampanga and San Julian, Eastern Samar on April 23 and 24, 2019, respectively, that caused massive damage in these areas, a mayoralty candidate vows to be proactive should a calamity of similar nature recur in this City.
Recalling the July 16, 1990 Earthquake that devastated Baguio City, Antonio “Tony Boy” Tabora, an engineer, reiterated that, “We must strictly observe a moratorium in the height of buildings in city.”
Tabora, in a public debate hosted by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) recently said, “Definitely, I am for a moratorium for the construction of high rise buildings in Baguio City.”
“During our time after the killer earthquake jolted Baguio, we immediately passed an ordinance limiting the height of buildings in the city,” he pointed out.
The Baguio Zoning Ordinance limits the height of commercial buildings at 19.5 meters or 6 stories, while the National Building Code of the Philippines (Presidential Decree No. 1096) sets a 5-story ceiling.
It can be recalled that the city government imposed a 4-storey building height limit to all structures that were built right after the July 16, 1990 killer earthquake before it was amended to a 6-storey building height limit.
Tabora in his message also questioned why there are now buildings having 10 and 12 floors despite the existing ordinance on structural limitations of buildings being implemented by the city. However, Tabora said that, “the city government allows these building owners to obtain exemption from the local ordinance in Manila.”
Tabora, who is vying for a mayoralty post in Baguio City for the May 2019 election, calls for the amendment of the National Building Code for the Joint Building and Environmental Planning Research and Standards Commission to respect the local ordinances of provinces, cities and municipalities relative to building structural limitations located in geo-hazard and earthquake prone areas.
“There is a need to respect our city’s ordinances with no exemptions,” he stressed. (TBT Release)