The city government has filed criminal complaints against at least 30 entities for constructing facilities without first obtaining permits required under the Davao City Zoning Ordinance and/or the National Building Code.

Davao City Zoning Administrator Roy Ryan Rigor bared on Thursday that the complaints were filed before the Office of the City Prosecutor, citing violations of Section 1, Article XIV of Davao City Ordinance No.0546-13 known as the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of Davao City.

The Office of the City Building Official likewise filed criminal cases against the same entities for violation of Section 301 of Presidential Decree No. 1096 or the National Building Code. Recently, the City Prosecutor came out with resolutions on some of these cases indicting the entities for the offenses defined.

Rigor said the filing of the charges is proof of the city government’s determination to strictly implement regulations concerning construction activities.

Rigor said that these companies did not seek clearance from the city government before constructing the buildings.

“In coordination with the Office of the Building Official, we have been filing charges against those who violate the building code and our zoning ordinance. This is our way of saying that they should respect our laws,” Rigor said.

It may be recalled that the city government also filed a case against Gaisano Capital for failing to comply with the necessary permits when it proceeded the construction of its building in Barangay Mintal.

According to Rigor, the erring companies could face a fine of P500 per day for administrative penalties.

He also said that building owners can also be criminally charged and can be fined of not less than 10 percent but not more than 50 percent of the project cost or imprisonment of not less than 6 months but not more than 1 year.

Assistant City Legal Officer Osmundo Villanueva said the move of the city government should serve as a warning to others who fail to secure government requirements before any construction activities.

“This is a way to correct the current practice of the contractors and building owners alike, wherein they proceed with the construction of the buildings even without securing the necessary permits,” Villanueva said.

In July, Mayor Sara Duterte issued a memorandum for the strict implementation of the zoning ordinance and the requirement of securing permits.

In her memorandum, Mayor Sara ordered all officials concerned to ascertain whether or not construction activities have not started yet at the time permits are being sought.

“If a project has been started with any relevant permit lacking, the concerned agency should outrightly deny the application and endorse the matter to the City Legal Officer for appropriate legal action,” the memorandum reads. CIO