We have an ancestral home–a bungalow–in the province. My siblings and I agreed to shoulder the cost of improving/repairing it as a gift to our mother, and that we will add a second floor to our ancestral home. When the work was going on, a representative from the local government came and asked if we have a building permit for the job. Do we need to get a building permit for the improvement/repair of the house? What is the penalty for not getting a building permit?
A building permit is also required in the repair of a house. Section 103 of Presidential Decree (PD) 1096 or the National Building Code of the Philippines states:
“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.”
Correlative to the above-mentioned provision of law is Section 301 of the same code which states:
“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 above-mentioned provisions specifically require a person repairing his house to comply with the National Building Code. Failure to obtain a permit for the repair would constitute a violation of PD 1096, and the penalty is an administrative fine not exceeding ten (10) thousand pesos (Section 212, Id.), and penal in nature under Section 213 of the same code which states:
“Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this code 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.”
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 email@example.com.