By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – The demolition of the ill-fated four-story NCCC Mall Davao will start on May 19, nearly five months after December 23,2017 fire that killed 37 call center agents and one mall personnel, Thea Padua, public relations manager of the NCCC Mall Davao.
The demolition of the 14-year old mall came 88 days after the City Building Official approved the mall management’s application for demolition permit on February 20. The mall applied for demolition last February 2 and paid the city a permit fee worth P187,854, she said.
As of this writing, Padua has yet to respond to query regarding the target completion of the demolition but based on the permit, the company is given only 30 days to complete it from the starting date.
Earlier, Padua said the company plans to redevelop the mall.
The four-story building has a combined floor area of 60,568 square meters, she added.
On December 24, rescuers recovered one of the 38 missing victims inside the comfort room on the fourth floor where most of the trapped workers reportedly huddled shortly after the fire broke out at 9:30 a.m. on December 23.
On December 25, Christmas Day, BFP-11 director Senior Supt. Wilberto Rico Neil A. Kwan Tiu announced after a mass held outside the mall that rescue and retrieval operation workers recovered 36 “charred” bodies at the lobby of the SSI office on the fourth floor.
Ten days later, January 4, the last remaining body of those missing was recovered in a small crack on the floor, within the area where authorities recovered remains of 36 bodies.
Interagency Anti-Arson Task Force deputy team leader and spokesperson Fire Supt. Jerry Candido said that NCCC Mall Davao and call center tenant failed to comply with fire safety requirements as they found lapses in the setup of the mall’s fire alarm, sprinkler system, and fire exits.
The task force is composed of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Bureau of Fire Protection, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 11.
The SSI occupied the entire 4,000-square meter space on the fourth floor that was also accredited by Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).