BAGUIO CITY – The city government here has directed owners and operators of at least 15 boarding houses in the city to correct their violations of some safety rules found by an inspection team.
Aileen Refuerzo, chief city information officer, said on the sidelines of Monday's flag raising ceremony that the joint inspection team led by Engr. Charles Carame, chief of the Health Service Office's sanitation division, relayed that several of the violations compromise the safety of the occupants.
"Most of the boarding houses inspected on Sept. 11 incurred violations on safety and sanitation standards," she said.
Among the violations found were lack of solid waste management or separate trash bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes, dilapidated facilities, unclean surroundings, absence of vermin control, and cramped spaces.
Likewise discovered were too narrow hallways and obstructed entrance or exit, being situated within waterway easement; non-operational sanitary and plumbing fixtures; improper drainage system; dilapidated roof gutter with a source of leaks; no installed CCTV (closed circuit television) and emergency light, non-functional electrical fixtures; dangling electrical wires, busted lightings fixtures; unsafe electrical wirings; and visible cracks on beams and columns.
Refuerzo said, "the 15 boarding houses in barangays New Lucban, Teodora Alonzo, and ABCR (A. Bonifacio, Caguioa, Rimando) have business permits but one did not have a fire safety certificate."
The three areas mentioned are located near major universities and colleges such as the Saint Louis University's main campus, Baguio Central University and STI College, making them sought-after residences for students.
Refuerzo said the inspection team also observed that most of the dormitories and boarding houses do not have parking areas for tenants and their fire alarms were not working.
She said the team has decided to continue conducting surprise inspections to cover other barangays and make sure that the violations of the 15 establishments will be rectified.
"As agreed on by the task force members, the inspection will be made a regular activity, especially with students back in Baguio for their face-to-face classes," Refuerzo said.
Refuerzo said based on the record of the Permits and Licensing Division, the city has 31 dormitories, 21 lodging houses, 1,773 boarding houses, 1,398 apartments and 543 transient houses listed in its registry of permitted establishments. (PNA)