DPWH in Philippines finds 453 building non-compliant with accessibility law

Asia-Pacific, September 20 2011

San Fernando City,  La Union, Philippines: The Department of Public Works and Highways – Regional Office 1 (DPWH-R1) strict enforcement of Batas Pambansa 344, otherwise known as Accessibility Law thru a regionwide comprehensive inspection on the compliance of government buildings and sports centers conducted by their 10 District Engineering Offices, found a total of 453 buildings in the region not complying with the law.

DPWH1 Director Veniedo O. Reyes said that earlier the agency have already issued letters to the building owners to seriously abide by the law and make it feasible for  persons with disabilities to fully exercise their rights, participate and enjoy same opportunities available /being enjoyed by other people living in the same society/community as they are.

Based on the September 9, 2011 data, for La Union District Office 1, of the 26 buildings inspected, 15 were issued letters of non-compliance and two government buildings, the Central Bank of the Philippines–La Union and the Home Development Mutual Fund– R1have already complied.

For La Union District Office 2, of the 72 buildings inspected and sent letters of compliance, non have started yet.

For the Regional Office, seven were issued letters. Reports showed that funds for the implementation are now ongoing preparation.

In Ilocos Norte District Office 1, 29 have been reported, one has complied. The funds for the 37 buildings in Ilocos Norte 2 are now being prepared.

All the buildings inspected for Pangasinan District Office 1–34, Pangasinan District Office 2 – 16, Pangasinan District Office 3–9 are now for funding while for the Pangasinan Sub-District Office – 77 have not yet started.

To sum it all, three government buildings have already complied, while others are on implementation stage. The Program of Works are being prepared for funding purposes.

As of this writing, Donald Rimando, Architect II, Planning Division of the DPWH-R1 informed that a new Memorandum Circular Number 42, series of 2011 has been issued by the DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson which states that The District Engineering Offices of DPWH shall conduct an assessment/inspection of all existing national buildings including all its structures and facilities.

On the other hand, the local building officials in the different local government units (LGU) shall be responsible in the conduct of assessment/inspection of privately-owned building structures and facilities for public use and local government-owned buildings, structures and facilities, within their respective area of coverage.

This time, Rimando said that if during the quarterly monitoring, there will still be national buildings, as well as LGU-owned and privately-owned buildings who failed to comply or correct the deficiencies, a second notice shall be given, if still there will be failures on compliance, a third notice of non-compliance shall be issued.

If after the issuance of the third notice and there are still building owners who fail to comply, the District Engineer, in the case of national buildings, and the Local Building Official for the LGU and private-owned buildings shall mare a written report to the DPWH Director and appropriate legal actions shall be instituted against them and the National Council on Disability Affairs shall also be given copy of the report for their information, reference and basis for subsequent legal action.

 Source: http://www.pia.gov.ph

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