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With schools reopening, QC sets dorm checks

/ 12:31 AM May 22, 2017

Beginning Wednesday, the Quezon City government will conduct an inspection of all student housing and dormitories to ensure that their owners have business permits and comply with the city’s safety regulations.

A composite team with representatives from the city fire department, building office, and business permits office has been formed by the local government to oversee the inspections, according to Garry Domingo, chief of the business permit and licensing office.

In an interview with Inquirer, Domingo said it has always been the instruction of Mayor Herbert Bautista to ensure that buildings and residences that admit students are equipped with safety and security features.

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“We see to it that we do the inspections in two weeks’ time before classes begin so [that we can ensure the compliance of] the owners of the dorms,” he added.

City officials also look for necessary business and building permits such as fire safety inspection certificates and check for compliance with provisions under the National Building Code such as fire exits and proper plumbing, including proper electricity and sanitary facilities.

According to the city’s Information and Technology Development Office, there are over 60 registered dormitories in Quezon City as of May.

Domingo said they would focus on areas close to universities and with a high student population such as Barangay Krus na Ligas, Katipunan Avenue, Cubao district and the boundary of Quezon City and Santa Mesa, Manila, where the Polytechnic University of the Philippines is located.

Even those renting out rooms or offering bedspace are expected to follow the city’s rules and regulations.

“Those that lack certain clearances and provisions would be given five working days to comply,” Domingo said. “If they fail to do so, we will serve them with a closure order.”

Citing past tragedies in the city such as the Manor Hotel fire in 2001 that killed at least 75 people and the Ozone Disco fire in 1996 that claimed over 160 lives, Domingo said these “traumatic” experiences should not happen again due to noncompliance with safety regulations.

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