A TECHNICAL working group (TWG) organized by the House committee on public works and highways has cleared a consolidated bill proposing to repeal the 43-year-old building code and replace it with one that will ensure that structures are more resistant to calamities.

“As Chairman of the TWG tasked to deliberate on the various bills concerning the update on the National Building Code, which we now propose to be called the Philippine Building Act (PBA) of 2020, we have accomplished the task of coming up with a consolidated final draft bill which we will be submitting to the mother committee on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020,” Construction Workers Solidarity Party-list Representative Romeo S. Momo, Sr., one of the bill’s principal authors, said in a statement Wednesday.

Mr. Momo said the still unnumbered bill repeals Presidential Decree No. 1096 or the National Building Code of the Philippines, which would give the country “a new building code that is responsive to the changing times.”

The bill’s purpose is “to ensure safe, liveable and environment-friendly structures, vis a vis the natural and man-made calamities the nation is facing every now and then,” he said.

Mr. Momo said the consolidated bill has a provision requiring an assessment of the design and integrity of buildings and structures completed on or before 2005.

“Under the proposed measure, public and private buildings and structures will be put under a classification system based on their type of construction, according to fire resistance rating; use or occupancy; and  required track of permitting process,” Mr. Momo said.

The measure creates a National Building Office to be headed by the Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

After the inspection has been performed, “building owners are to submit the certifications or findings of appropriate Building Professionals, serving as recognized certifiers, to the concerned Local Building Officials regarding the state of such buildings and structures and their safety and/or need for retrofit.” Mr. Momo said.

The bill also creates a Building Regulations and Standards Council, “which shall appoint Local building officials and members of the Regional Building Appeals Boards.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza