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Citing the Fire Code of the Philippines, Marcial explained that a fire safety clearance is a pre-requisite in securing a business permit, and if they do not have this document “definitely the establishment will not be allowed to operate.”
He said that the BFP should first conduct an inspection of the building or establishment before a local government unit (LGU) can issue a business or mayor’s permit.
Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian admitted that they processed the “provisional business permit” of Kentex on Jan. 15, 2015, which is “within the mandate of the LGU” and that was the reason why the factory was able to operate.
Gatchalian explained that the provisional business permit of Kentex was endorsed to the BFP for inspection, but “they never got back” with negative comments.
“What the LGU gave them was a provisional business permit. Now, some people are saying that is not allowed, and let me refer you to all citations: 2010 circular number one, it’s a joint circular of the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) and the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government)... In that circular they are trying to address the red tape in getting permits and what they said there was they are enjoining the LGU like Valenzuela to set up one-stop shops,” he said, adding that the joint memorandum also acknowledges the existence of provisional business permits.
Other requirements like the fire safety certificate can be complied with in one year, the mayor said.
The BFP, however, stood firm that an LGU will not be allowed to issue a business permit to any business establishment without first securing the fire safety inspection certificate.
Marcial said that a joint memorandum cannot, in any way, supersede the Fire Code of the Philippines, which is a law.
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