Angeles City gov’t fails to address traffic woes, says businesswoman

ANGELES CITY – An indignant businesswoman here has expressed her frustration at the city government for failing to address the traffic and parking problem at the Balibago business district and the height restrictions on high-rise buildings.

Rosella Paniza Breckenridge, President and owner of the 10-storey Central Park Tower in the Balibago business district, said she had lodged her complaint to the Angeles City Engineer’s Office but the twin problem on traffic and possible violation on high-rise buildings’ height restriction continues unabated.

Breckenridge said she also aired the traffic and parking issues to Angeles Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan before the last elections but to no avail.

In her letter to Engr. David David of the Angeles City Planning and Development Office dated June 23, 2014, Breckenridge asked the city government to “clear the public streets adjacent to the Central Park Tower Resort.”

The adjacent Penthouse Hotel which constructed a 14-storey building did not allegedly follow the 5-meter allowance or provide the mandatory number of vehicle parking spaces. The Penthouse Hotel building permit was only approved for an 8-storey edifice and now is currently using Gloria Street, a barangay road, as parking spaces for its clients.

Breckenridge said the request to clear Gloria Street “has been ignored and the situation has gotten even worse” after the Penthouse Hotel put their huge generator in the easement and on part of said street.

Breckenridge said “Gloria Street is a public road and not a dedicated parking area for either of our hotels.”

As early as March 2015, Breckenridge urged Mayor Pamintuan to assist in the clearing of Gloria Street “but the situation has only continued to get worse.” Since Penthouse Hotel was using the barangay road (Gloria Street) as parking area, guests of the Central Park Tower were having difficulty accessing the Central Park parking garage and outside parking areas, according to Breckenridge.

Before the recent elections, Pamintuan had vowed to resolve the traffic problem but Breckenridge noted that nothing had been done so far.

Breckenridge said a new 8-storey hotel – the Palladium Entertainment Venue Mega Gogo Bar – was currently constructing an 8-storey edifice beside the Central Park Tower. The Palladium management, however, was already constructing the ninth floor and reports have it that it will have a total of 12 floors violating the Certificate of Zoning Compliance (CZC).

A certificate obtained by OrbitNews indicated that Palladium Hotel is allowed only to build an 8-storey building. The original application for all floors above the 8th was denied.

Last March 14, 2017, the City Planning and Development Office had already issued a “work stoppage” against the Palladium Hotel management led by one Elvira Granil but the construction continues.

Breckenridge has also informed Pamintuan and Engr. David of the infractions being committed by the Palladium management. The issue on whether to allow Palladium to add six more floors to its building is now being taken by the Angeles City Council who will reportedly decide on the matter. Councilor Jericho Aguas is the committee chairman on Building and Estate Development.

Breckenridge has appealed to Aguas to “reject the plea of the Palladium to add back the floors that were rejected in their original application.”

“To date, you have chosen not to address the issues as mentioned in all of my letters or to correct the violation. I believe you are mandated to act by Section 5 (a), (c) and (d) of Republic Act 6713. Your unresponsiveness leaves me no choice but to consider an inquiry to DPWH to address this issue and also any non-compliances (i.e parking spaces, easements, CAAP clearance, etc) with the National Building Code of the Philippines.

Among others, Breckenridge said the city government should enforce the 5-meter setback along the front and sides of the Palladium building; determine the number and location of dedicated parking spaces; ensure compliance of Palladium to the 80 percent rule on firewall configuration; check possible violation on height restriction; and the validity of the Palladium’s building permit. For the record, the Central Park Tower has 5 meter setbacks on all sides facing the adjacent roads says Breckenridge.

“I believe in progress, but only with thoughtful consideration. The approval of the request of the Palladium Entertainment Mega Gogo bar/Hotel to add 4 storeys, beyond the zoning restriction, representing a 50 percent increase in floor area, with all its building code violations and without a realistic assessment of the impact to the area would be inconceivable, negligent and reckless,” according to Breckenridge.

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