Private engineers, architects told to be transparent

The City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) urged private engineers and architects assisting building owners in their applications for the issuance of building permits for their structures in the city to be transparent in their transactions to avoid their office from being dragged into controversies that taint a bad image on the office as a whole.

City building official Engr. Nazita F. Bañez disclosed that her office had been receiving reports from concerned building owners on the alleged excessive fees being collected by private engineers and architects for the processing of the permits for the structures they plan to construct in the different parts of the city.

“We appeal to the private engineers and architects assisting building owners in the processing permits for their structures to be transparent with their clients to avoid our office from being dragged into controversies which we are not directly involved,” Engr. Bañez stressed.

The city building official claimed that private engineers and architects allegedly collect from their clients P150,000 up to P300,000 for the processing of the permits of the planned structures when the fees that will be receipted for the permits is actually P6,000 per 100 square meters floor area of the building.

According to Engr. Bañez, private engineers and architects do not actually process the permits for planned structures but only assist the building owners by preparing the requirements for the permits such as building plans, soil test, bill of materials, among others, that is why the collection of processing fees from their clients is between them and their clients.

The local government department head explained that their office has nothing to do with the transactions of the private architects and engineers and their clients, especially in the fees that are being collected, because the receipts that the local government will issue on the processed permit will speak for itself.

Because of the complaints that the local government had been receiving on the alleged excessive collections being done by private engineers and architects from their building owner clients, the city department official said it is still best for the building owners to directly consult with the officials in the office or commission private engineers and architects for their specific job in preparing the requirements for building permits and that someone more transparent will do the job of processing the permit with the said offices.

The engineer asserted the local government has been consistent in imposing the stringent requirements for the processing and issuance of building permits to interested building owners because of the reported transactions with private engineers and architects that even add on to the cost of putting up the desired structures in the different parts of the city.

Presidential Decree (PD) 1096 or the National Building Code requires all owners of buildings to secure the required building permits from the local government having jurisdiction over the area that the proposed structures will be erected, provided that the owner will submit requirements ranging from building plans and specifications, bill of materials, soil test, structural design among others where the same will be based.

The local building official is directly under the direct supervision of the Secretary of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH). -  Dexter A. See