Our Philippine House Project – Building, Zoning, Fire Protection Permits. Certificate of Occupancy.
A number of readers have asked about our experiences with obtaining our building permit. Since we had an engineer who headed our “design team”, we decided to let her handle the permit application.
Our engineer employed an individual who does nothing but submit such applications. She is not a fixer or bribe giver,just someone who knows the proper procedures, is persistent, patient and able to work with permitting authorities. This was a good decision on our part. There were a few delays and frustrations, but we were not involved and our permits arrived just in time for the start of the project.
We understand that some will want to save money and do the applications themselves. Our decision was based on frustrations we experienced in trying to get a temporary electrical permit for our fence project. Probably this was due to the fact that it’s not customary to give temporary electrical permits rather than any intention to give us a hard time. Most people utilize a temporary electrical hookup to a neighbor’s power during construction and then, when the project is done and approved, the permanent electrical service can installed. It appears that approval of electrical hookups is a way to ensure that permits and inspections are complete and (probably more importantly) that tax assessors can reassess the property to reflect improvements.
The temporary electrical permit application cost us P2,380 of which P1,700 was to expedite to application when it languished. Also we had to pay a deposit to the electric utility of P3,000.
There have been no inspections during construction of the house. Evidently, this is typical.
Here are the fees we paid to get our building permit:Building Permit P2323.04 Zoning Certification P2,900.00 Fire Code Fee P3165.55 Consultant Travel and Misc. Expense P1,142.00 Consultant Fee P3,500.00 TOTAL P13,030.59
Certificate of occupancy. Before you move into your house you are supposed to apply for and receive a certificate of occupancy. Supposedly, many do not bother with this, but we wanted to do what was required. The certificate of occupancy application requires “certificates of completion” from the architect, engineer, plumber and electrician and final inspections. Our architect, who has never seen the house, charged P3,000 for signing the certificate of completion. We also paid P1,600 for an occupancy fee and various small inspection and “miscellaneous” fees totalling P3,189. We paid the same consultant who helped us with the original application to help us obtain the certificate of occupancy. Her fee was P3,500. Our total cost for the certificate of occupancy was P9,689.
Therefore, the total fees and expenses for permits for our project were P25,099.59 — not an insignificant sum!
Real Estate Taxes. Our next task is to meet with the assessors and make a declaration of market value of our improvements (house) as required under section 203 of the Local Government Code. The land is separately assessed and taxed. See our post about Philippine real state taxes at http://myphilippinelife.com/our-philippine-house-project-philippine-real-estate-taxes/