Gate construction needs a building permit

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Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I am the president of the homeowners’ association in our subdivision here in Taguig City (Metro Manila). We have a long-standing dispute with another homeowners’ association in another subdivision, which is located at the back of our subdivision. The dispute started when members of our association complained about the use of our subdivision streets by residents of the other subdivision. There is an existing road constructed in the other subdivision where they can utilize for ingress and egress but the residents there prefer to use the roads in our community as an access to the main road because our roads are traffic-free.

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In a meeting of our association, members proposed construction of a gate in the entrance and exit of our subdivision for security purposes. The work started immediately. Officials from the city government, however, stopped the construction of gate because somebody allegedly reported that it has no building permit. Do we need a building permit for the construction of that gate?
Bitoy

Dear Bitoy,
Provisions of Presidential Decree 1096 or the National Building Code of the Philippines have the following scope and application:

“(a) The provisions of this code shall apply to the design, location, sitting, construction, alteration, repair, conversion, use, occupancy, maintenance, moving, demolition of and addition to public and private buildings and structures, except traditional indigenous family dwellings as defined herein.

(b) Building and/or structures constructed before the approval of this code shall not be affected thereby except when alterations, additions, conversions or repairs are to be made therein in which case, this code shall apply only to portions to be altered, added, converted or repaired.” (Section 103, Chapter I, Ibid.)
Correlative thereto, Section 301, Chapter III of the same law, specifically provides that:

“No person, firm or corporation, including any agency or instrumentality of the government shall erect, construct, alter, repair, move, convert or demolish any building or structure or cause the same to be done without first obtaining a building permit therefor from the Building Official assigned in the place where the subject building is located or the building work is to be done.”

The provisions of law mentioned in the immediately preceding paragraph are clear that anyone who shall erect, construct, alter, repair, move, convert or demolish any building or structure shall need a building permit from the building official in the area. A gate is a structure; hence, it necessarily follows that a corresponding building permit is required in order to ensure its safe construction.

Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.

We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

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

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