Dumaguete councilor pushes for safer boarding houses

DUMAGUETE City Councilor Estanislao Alviola is enjoining concerned agencies in this city to ensure that boarding houses are safe and conducive to learning.

Alviola issued the statement as classes opened Monday for both public and private schools, including colleges and universities, while other private educational institutions are expected to start the school year next week.

He said it is not about raising additional revenues for the city coffers, but most important is the safety of boarders – who may be transients, workers, and students.

The neophyte city councilor suggested that mapping operations be conducted by personnel of the City Treasurer’s Office, to be assisted by the Special Enforcement Unit of the City Government, to advise boarding houses that are operating illegally to comply with the requirements.

The councilor was informed that a lot of old houses have been utilized as boarding houses without business permits, usually with an excuse that the supposed renters are just “relatives” so they can do away with the permits.

They operate without fire exits from the Bureau of Fire Protection showed, as well as non-compliance to the building code.

Alviola’s call comes on the heels of a boarding house that was spared from the fire that burned two business establishments in downtown Dumaguete last week.

The city fire department has yet to determine if the boarding house has complied with the fire code, whose renters included employees of department stores in the city, teachers, and some transients.

The councilor said the inspection of boarding houses in the city would mean addressing illegal operations, ensuring the safety of the renters, and bringing in revenues for the city.

This would also help in crime prevention by monitoring transients, in coordination with barangay officials, to determine the possible presence of criminal elements. (PNA)

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