Important Announcement
PubHTML5 Scheduled Server Maintenance on (GMT) Sunday, June 26th, 2:00 am - 8:00 am.
PubHTML5 site will be inoperative during the times indicated!

Home Explore Untalan_CE Laws_Essay 1

Untalan_CE Laws_Essay 1

Published by Angelica Untalan, 2022-07-12 05:51:56

Description: Untalan_CE Laws_Essay 1


Read the Text Version

For some, the nightlife is an experience of diversity in the entertainment industry. The Ozone Disco Club in Quezon City claimed the lives of 162 youthful party-goers on the night of 18th of March 1996. Besides, 350 people were enjoying and celebrating, taking advantage of the free admissions, which is also the night of the unforeseen tragic event of their lives. In detail, at around 11:35 pm, a fire struck during the ongoing party and authorities point their fingers at the structure of the club as the main cause of the undoubtedly devastating event. Witnesses thought of the lighting that emitted fire as props, ignoring the situation but quickly escalated, causing people to panic and outrunning each other. They say that some tragedies are caused by accidents, being unintentional. On the other side of the story, a piece of clear evidence may be traced which would unfold the explanation of the fatalities. In the account of the Ozone Disco Tragedy, many of the party-goers perished in the fire since the establishment was not able to meet the necessary safety standard as proven by various investigations. Also, under the code of ethics from the “Manual of Professional Practice for Civil Engineers”, the fundamental principles asserted that civil engineers uphold and advance the integrity, honor, and dignityof the civil engineering profession by:

1. Using their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare and the environment; 2. Being honest and impartial and serving with fidelity the public, their employers/employees, and clients; 3. Striving to increase the competence and prestige of the civil engineering profession; and 4. Supporting the professional and technical societies of their disciplines. Meanwhile, the fundamental canons state that: 1. Civil Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public and shall strive to comply with the principles of sustainable development in the performance of their duties. 2. Civil Engineers shall perform services only in areas of their competence. 3. Civil Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner. 4. Civil Engineers shall act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees and shall avoid conflicts of interest. 5. Civil Engineers shall build their professional reputation on the merit of their services and shall not compete unfairly with others. 6. Civil Engineers shall act in such a manner as to uphold and enhance the honor, integrity, and dignity of the civil engineering profession. 7. Civil Engineers shall continue their professional development throughout their careers and shall provide opportunities for the professional development of those civil engineers under their supervision. The structure of the Ozone Disco became a living proof of how structures could save lives from disasters like fire. Going into the detail of the tragedy, it was discovered that the building capacity is an obvious and questionable concern as this club only intends to accommodate 100 party-goers, although, looking at the reality of having a small area which is 50 sqm., it expects to fit for a smaller number of people as this is supposed to be a residential building, not commercial. Clearly, overcapacity was one of the elements of the disaster. It was also discovered that only one doorway existed that was used both as an entrance and an exit, even worse was that this doorway swung open inwards as it symbolizes “good luck” in feng shui. This would explain the situation of people struggling to get out as they encounter difficulty in opening the door which is supposed to be an in-and-

out the door; a door that could be pushed and pulled. There was no fire extinguisher as well, no first aid kits, and the like, only one security guard was on duty. Moreover, court proceedings revealed more irregularities in the building’s architecture, and officials from the local City Engineer’s Office were held accountable for issuing a building permit to an obviously problematic design. Apparently, most of the listed fundamental principles and canons were violated. In the study conducted by Chua (2013), it was stressed that the permit that the company holds is the permit of the Birdland Jazz Club (previous structure) which is said to be temporary in nature and could be withdrawn if the changes that the inspector wanted to be made for greater fire safety were not done. Also, as declared in the permit, the maximum number of people that were approved to use the structure was 35 only (Vanzi, 2001). Still in this situation, Westwood Entertainment Company Incorporated (current owner) pushed on its want to renovate the building immediately after receiving a permit from the City Engineering Office of Quezon City without any inspection happening. The Ozone Disco Club lacks fire-preventing equipment and structure as mentioned above, and still, managed to operate with a permit from the officials of the Quezon City Engineering Office. Many officials and professionals, including engineers, were convicted. Another perfect situation where fundamental principles and canons were violated. Listed below are the statements in an interview by Philippine Daily Inquirer in 2014 from the people involved in the case who may be the victims, or another professional handling the essential facts: “The engineers gave unwarranted and preferential advantage to the Ozone disco owners. They failed to detect structural and fire safety deficiencies,” court administrator Teresa Pabulayan said. “Notably, the pile of dead bodies found at the point of entrance/exit of the main dance floor remains a standing testament to the violation [by] Ozone Disco Club [of] the safety requirements on the provision of an exit door,” the court said in a 76-page resolution. “The slapdash approval of the building permits and certificate of occupancy issued in favor of Westwood … marked by a lackadaisical screening of the paper requirements… marks the building officials’ evident bad faith and manifest partiality to the applicant,” it added.

From the same newspaper, the court stated the fire showed that the building officials in conspiracy with the other accused ignored the provisions of the National Building Code, aggravating the death toll, an obvious violation of the safety, health, and welfare of the public. “The supposed alternative exit, which was located at the VIP lounge, was actually obstructed by a sofa and an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) tank, which only led to a firewall,” the court said. “The audacity of Westwood… in the construction of Ozone Disco Club by evading compliance with important provisions of the National Building Code to suit its own business purposes is simply overwhelming,” the court said. “There can never be a slapdash approval of a building permit and certificate of occupancy. To [shirk] from this duty will certainly run at risk all safety standards contemplated by the National Building Code,” it added. In addition to the statements of the court, it was accounted that building officials have acted “to condone, if not overlook, obvious violations of the National Building Code.” “Had the violations been averted at the first instance, the magnitude of those who died and those who continue to endure scars that would haunt them for life, would not have happened,” the court said. Violations include deprivation of human welfare and environment due to deaths, lack of fidelity to the public when professionals neglect the necessary inspections, stained prestige when building officials chose money over reputation, and call off respect to the discipline. Many cases like the occurrence of Ozone Disco Club Tragedy happen as there is a culture of negligence for individual safety and ignorance of the standard codes for a structure like the National Building Code of the Philippines. Some countries have strict workplace safety procedures and building regulations that are meticulously imposed. Even more, regular site inspections are conducted and penalties are imposed on violations of anyone as there is no one above the law. Here in the Philippines, common issues are heightened when human safety is sacrificed for the sake of monetary gain which often happens “under the table”. On the fundamental canon, honor, integrity, and

the dignity of the civil engineering profession is strengthened as it is an act of impartiality. What took place in the Ozone Disco Club is one of the circumstances which served as a great lesson for professionals to uphold their duties and responsibility with honor. Also, the end of the dreams and death of people who are mostly graduating students act as an eye-opener that safety, health, and welfare of the public shall be of priority. Because no matter how much profit is gained, it can never compensate for life. Besides, a career is jeopardized for short-term benefits. As a future civil engineer, awareness is definitely a responsibility to inculcate long-term benefits to the clients, employers, and employees, and even realizations include corruption leads to awful situations. Let us keep in mind that an establishment's structure undeniably plays a vital role in the safety and security of the public. The code of ethics is a powerful instrument to aid and abet the decision-making process, distinguishing right from wrong. Tragedies like Ozone Disco Fire is not intentional, but rather unexpected event that began from a spark to the disclosure of several anomalies of the professionals involve in the operation of the business. Times like this may give us a hint that we, humans are not perfect, but we have the capability to mitigate or even prevent adversities. “You, would you rather stand for what is right but may jeopardize your career or keep a blind eye on an obvious wrongful act?”

Agustin, M. (2016, April 7). Ozone Disco tragedy: Remembering one of the most tragic fire incident in Philippine history. Philippine News Feed. Retrieved July 12, 2022, from Chua, M. H. (2013). Ozone Disco Tragedy – Could’ve Been Prevented? An Analysis on its Structure (thesis). Gamil, J. T., Mangunay, K. F., & Ramos, M. (2014, November 21). After 18 years, 9 found guilty in Ozone inferno . Inquirer.Net. Retrieved from years-9-found-guilty-in-ozone-inferno.

Like this book? You can publish your book online for free in a few minutes!
Create your own flipbook