BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Dito Telecommunications was ordered by the Office of the Building Official to temporarily stop the construction of its cell site in Purok Himaya, Brgy. Alijis, Bacolod City, as it has no permit to do so.
Nestor Velez, OBO head, said the telecommunications firm was served a notice of violation on Thursday and was given three days to secure a building permit for the construction of its cell site.
Velez said that if the firm fails to comply, OBO will send a final notice and will endorse the case to the City Legal Office for permanent work stoppage.
He said the company will be meted penalties for its violation, adding that OBO has advised the representative and contractor of the cell site to also comply with the requirements in securing a building permit.
Asked how Dito was able to start the construction of the cell site despite the lack of permit, Velez said they only learned of it when residents complained about the construction.
Velez admitted that, initially, they did not have any idea to which telecommunication firm the cell site belongs until he conducted his own probe and learned that it is owned by Dito.
Several residents of puroks Himaya and Paghigugma in Brgy. Alijis earlier expressed their opposition to the construction of the cell site in their community.
The residents and their officials said they would like to protect their community against the effect of oversaturation of electromagnetic and wireless radiation exposure to the ecosystem.
OTHER CELL SITES
The OBO had also issued notices of violation against other Dito cell sites before but Velez said the company then settled the issue and was able to secure building permits.
Velez said it is normal sometimes that there are delays in compliance but he said he believes that the management of Dito is fully aware of their responsibility.
BUILDING PERMIT NECESSARY
Velez reiterated that, as stipulated under the law, a building permit is necessary before the construction of a cell site.
Section 301 of Presidential Decree 1096, or the National Building Code of the Philippines, states 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. OBO collects surcharges from contractors and companies that will build any structure without necessary permits, on top of the administrative fines that they will also be facing.*