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Lapid seeks student dorms registry for safety reasons

MANILA – Sen. Lito Lapid has filed a bill that seeks to regulate student housing entities to ensure the safety of students.

Lapid’s Senate Bill No. 1036 or the “Student Housing Regulation Act of 2019” seeks to establish a registry for dormitories, boarding houses, room-for-rent and bed-space businesses, apartments and other similar housing facilities.

The bill aims to ensure compliance of housing facilities with structural, fire and safety regulations.

There have been many incidents in the Philippines of students killed in fires because dormitories did not have proper fire exits and fire extinguishers.

The registry shall contain the names of the owners of the student housing facility, the names of the officers or building administrator of the business, contact information, address of the housing entity, proof of connection to water and electric utilities, as well as their rental rates.

“Ngayon na libre na ang tuition sa ating mga SUCs [State Universities and Colleges], nararapat lamang na tuunan naman natin ng pansin ang kakulangan ng maayos na mga matitirahan para sa ating mga estudyante,” Lapid said in a statement.

“Sa pamamagitan ng panukalang batas na ito, bukod sa pagkakaroon ng database ng lahat ng mga dormitoryo o boarding house sa bawat munisipalidad, ay nais din nating tingnan ang kakayanan ng mga paupahan na ito na masiguro ang kapakanan at kaligtasan ng mga umuupang estudyante lalo na sa panahon ng sakuna.”

Under the proposed bill, city or municipal engineers must conduct a yearly inspection of student housing facilities in their respective jurisdictions.

Non-compliance with the registration requirement or refusal to allow inspection shall result in the automatic revocation of the business permit of the violating entity or the imposition of a fine not exceeding P50,000.

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