Proposed New PH Building Act approved on 3rd reading
MANILA, Philippines — House Bill (HB) No. 8500, which would replace the country’s over four-decades-old National Building Code, was approved on its third and final reading on Wednesday.
If signed into law by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the proposed New Philippine Building Act would replace the National Building Code created through Presidential Decree No. 1096 — which was signed in 1977 by the chief executive’s father and namesake, then-President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said it was high time to update the country’s building standards — under the second Marcos administration.
“[The proposed legislation would] protect the public against multiple hazards like fire, weather disturbances, and earthquake better than our existing building law and regulations,” Romualdez, the incumbent president’s cousin, said in a statement.
“Many developments in building standards and technologies, climate change, and disaster risk reduction and management have since taken place. It’s time that we update our law under the second Marcos administration.”
Last Friday, Surigao del Sur 1st District Rep. Romeo Momo Sr., chair of the House Committee on Public Works and Highways, asked his colleagues to approve the bill.
According to Momo, the bill would guarantee that establishments in the country would be safer and better equipped — mainly since infrastructure projects comprise a considerable part of economic growth.
If enacted, the bill will update the country’s standards regarding the “planning, design, construction, occupancy, maintenance, and demolition of buildings” and even streamline the building permit process.
In addition, the consolidated version of the bill would create a new system of classification of buildings and new requirements for zoning, fire prevention, environment protection, and design.
This is not the first time that a new building code was proposed. In 2013, renowned architect Felino Palafox Jr. said that the new building code should also consider a structure’s capability to withstand disasters, considering that the Philippines experiences calamities regularly.
In the Senate, Sen. Christopher Go refiled a counterpart measure last August 2022.