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No building permit

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Dear Atty Chris,

My wife and I decided to renovate their ancestral home as a gift to her mother. We will add a second floor and repair some parts.

While undertaking the construction, someone from the local government asked us if we have managed to apply for a building permit. We don’t have it.

Do we really need a building permit? What is our penalty? Thanks!

Roy

***

Dear Roy,

A building permit is required in constructing or building a house. However, it is also required in undertaking repairs. 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 twenaty 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.”

Hope this helps.

Atty. Chris Liquigan

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