Building permit needed to construct a house

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I am about to build a house in our province which is being opposed by our neighbor. We have conflicts in the past and now my neighbor is threatening to sue me for violation of the Building Code for lack of a building permit.
Please enlighten me with this law.

Dear Alex,
It is required under Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1096 as amended otherwise known as the National Building Code of the Philippines, that all persons, firms, corporations, including any agency or instrumentality of the government who shall erect, construct, alter, repair, move, convert or demolish any building or structure or cause the same to be done shall secure first a building permit from the Building Official assigned in the place where the subject building is located or building work is to be done (Section 301, P.D. 1096, as amended).
In order to obtain a building permit, the applicant shall file an application therefor in writing and on the prescribed form from the office of the Building Official. The application shall provide, at least the following information: (1) A description of the work to be covered by the permit applied for; (2) Certified true copy of the TCT covering the lot on which the proposed work is to be done. If the applicant is not the registered owner, in addition to the TCT, a copy of the contract of lease shall be submitted; (3) The use or occupancy for which the proposed work is intended; (4) Estimated cost of the proposed work. It is further required under the National Building Code that the application should be accompanied by corresponding plans and specifications prepared, signed and sealed by the duly mechanical engineer, in case of mechanical plans, and by a registered electrical engineer in case of electrical plans, except in those cases exempted or not required by the Building Official under the Code (Section 302, P.D. 1096, as amended).
It is likewise stated under the Code that any person, firm or corporation who shall violate the provisions thereof such failure to secure a building permit before a building is actually erected may be administratively and/or criminally liable. Under the administrative liability, the offender may be fined an amount not exceeding ten thousand pesos (Section 212, PD 1096). As to criminal liability, it is stated under the Code that any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of its provisions and/or commit any act hereby declared to be unlawful shall upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than twenty thousand pesos or by imprisonment of not more than two years or by both such fine and imprisonment: Provided, that in the case of a corporation firm, partnership or association, the penalty shall be imposed upon its officials responsible for such violation and in case the guilty party is an alien, he shall immediately be deported after payment of the fine and/or service of his sentence (Section 213, PD 1096).

We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to


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