Puerto Princesa’s new airport found to be a fire hazard

fire hazard
Inside the new terminal building in Puerto Princesa

The newly-built Puerto Princesa International Airport has been slapped with a fine for being a fire hazard. 

The new transport hub must pay a 50,000 peso administrative after the regional office of the Bureau of Fire Protection discovered violations of basic fire safety regulations.

Senior Fire Inspector Nilo Caabay said they served the formal notice to airport management on Monday, and gave it until today (Thursday, July 12) to pay the fine and 15 days to comply with their recommendations.

Caabay explained that upon initial inspection, they found that the airport has no secondary exits, and had not even tested its alarms and sprinkler systems. He added the facility has no occupancy permit and no mandatory Fire Safety Inspection Certification.

The new terminal building — which cost 4.5 billion pesos to complete and was opened last year — has a floor area of 13,000 square metres and a capacity of 1.9 million passengers per year.

He also stated that the airport management was given “ample time” to correct the violations, but found out after a follow-up inspection that they had not complied.

He added that the violations are all clearly laid out in Republic Act 9514, otherwise known as the Revised Fire Code of the Philippines.

In an interview with Palawan News, airport manager Percival Malonesio said they were already in the process of complying with all the recommendations.

Caabay noted that the problems could have been avoided if the design of the airport was discussed at the outset with the Bureau of Fire Protection. He said the documents were processed only after the building was completed.

“Hopefully once the building is rebuilt, they will process the papers for evaluation and the building will be ready for use,” he added.

Caabay explained that their office was compelled to issue the notice of violation as part of their mandate. “If we do not enforce, what if something happens? We will not wait for that scenario to happen,” he said.

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