Boardinghouse, Dorm Owners Reminded of Rules and Regulations

Article excerpt


A room that has a small window which is inadequate to ventilate the room. During rainy days, rain comes in through the holes on the roof. No place to hang clothes to let them dry. No kitchen to cook food. The street is either muddy or flooded.

This setting is much more of a reality for some lodgers in Manila who decided to live in such cheaper places to keep up with todays costly living.

But in an ordinance approved by then Acting Manila Mayor Herminio Astorga on June 14, 1963, Ordinance No. 41765 states the rules and regulations for the operation and maintenance of dormitories and boardinghouses in Manila.

As defined in the law, a dormitory or boardinghouse includes any house or building, where six or more persons may be regularly accepted as boarders for compensation by the day, week or month.

A permit should be obtained from the Mayor and a license approved by city authorities, which should specify the number of persons permitted to dwell or board. The permit should then be displayed in a noticeable place.

There are four classifications of dormitories and boardinghouses. They are: Class A accommodates 50 boarders or more; Class B is for 30 boarders or more but less than 50; Class C is for 20 boarders or more but less than 30; and Class D is for more than five but less than 20 boarders.

License fees for dorms or boardinghouses vary also accordingly. For Class A P120, Class B P60, Class C P30 and Class D P10.

A person who wants to secure permit or license has to submit statements on the kind of construction of the building, size of each room for guests or boarders, sanitary facilitation, condition of light and ventilation, greatest number of persons that can be accommodated at any time, size of dining room, and number of employees.

The City of Manila has also provided provisions for three-story buildings intended for a dorm or boardinghouse for the accommodation of over 100 persons.

Buildings accommodating less than 100 persons should not exceed three storeys in height or 12 meters if it is a non-fireproof structure but has to be in no case lower in quality than that of a frame structure.

Passageways should be properly lighted at each flight of stairs, at the intersection of corridors, and at the point of exit to fire escapes. A red light is required to be kept during the night.

Fire exits should be provided in every dorm or boardinghouse to be placed preferably at the street front of the building, which is far from the stairs, in a clear, unobstructed passageway of at least one-meter wide. Flammable liquids or combustible materials should not be placed on the passageway.

Alarm systems for Classes A, B and C dorms should be provided and should be conveniently located for easy access. …