Jail term for violators of zoning law pushed
A proposed amendment to the 1996 zoning ordinance will require developers to secure permits from the Office of the Building Officials (OBO) before proceeding with any construction projects in Cebu City.
The proponent, Councilor Gerardo Carillo, also wanted a six-month jail term added to a P5,000 fine imposed on violators.
He said this sanction should be imposed for every violation of the amended zoning ordinance rather than be the end penalty of the accumulation of violations during the course of project implementation.
The proposed amendment will also require a P5,000 fee for variance applications and another P2,500 for modifications.
The proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance was scheduled for public hearing during the Cebu City Council’s Nov. 27 session. But no speakers came despite the publication of the public hearing in local dailies.
Anne Cabigas, external affairs head of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), went to the session, but only to listen to discussions.
She told the council that they referred the council’s invitation to the public hearing to their construction sector.
Cabigas told the council that the CCCI will just submit their position paper. Carillo said stricter regulations on developers are needed “so they will no longer mess up with the zoning ordinance of the city of Cebu.”
“We want to send the message that for every violation, you have to pay the fine or face the jail term,” he said.
Carillo said it is ironic that most developers would go on with their projects even before the issuance of OBO permits.
“Most developers start without a development permit. We will just be surprised when we hear reports of a landslide (in their construction site),” he said. Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac