Celso creates Task force to check dorms’ safety PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 06 June 2011 18:03

Mayor Celso Lobregat over the weekend created a task force to inspect dormitories and boarding houses located near the city’s universities and colleges to ensure the safety and protection of the students and other occupants.

The task force is composed of the City Treasurer’s Office, City Licensing Division, City Health Office, City Engineer’s Office, City Assessor’s Office, City Police Office and City Fire Department.

The mayor ordered the creation of the group during a meeting with the education sector, the police, military, fire department, barangay officials and representatives from the academe Friday afternoon intended to prepare for the opening of classes today, June 6.

Specifically, the task force is to check on the condition of the dormitories and boarding houses such the existence of fire exits and fire alarms; determine if it is operating with business permit, payment of property taxes; occupancy permit and all other requirements under the law.

“The safety of the occupants is our concern”, the mayor said during the meeting following a report presented by City Engineer Luis Despalo on the condition of some dormitories and boarding houses that his office checked the previous days.  “All of these dormitories should have business permits, fire exits, fire alarms and all other requirements, otherwise they will be closed until they comply with the requirements”.

Given the number of out of town students who are renting spaces or rooms in the city, the number of dormitories and boarding houses existing in the city specifically near colleges and universities is also very high. “You count the number of students staying here from outside of Zamboanga, there are thousands so there should be hundreds of dormitories all over the place,” the mayor pointed out.

The City Fire Department, it was learned also conducted its individual inspection of these establishments and the focus of which was the compliance of fire safety requirements.

Initially notices were sent to owners of dormitories and boarding houses which do not comply with the fire safety rules.
The task force, according to Mayor Lobregat will undertake an all in one inspection covering all requirements for the operation of such business establishments.
Meanwhile, the meeting that the chief executive convened Friday afternoon was aimed at ensuring a smooth and hassle-free opening of classes in both public and private schools in the city on today and throughout the school year.

The meeting tackled traffic, security and health and sanitation measures as well as conditions of school buildings/ dormitories in the city. It likewise tackled Memorandum Circular 2011-74 issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for all provincial governors, city mayors, municipal mayors, punong barangays, DILG regional directors and the regional governor of the ARMM concerning local government actions in support of the opening of classes.— Sheila Covarrubias