Building code bill passes OEK
Gets no endorsement from Chamber
By: L.N. Reklai
(Koror, Palau) A bill to establish building standards in the Republic of Palau passed both houses of OEK and sent to President Remengesau for his action, gets no approval from the Palau Chamber of Commerce.
Palau Chamber of Commerce in its letter of recommendation to President Remengesau states that it does not endorse this version of the bill to establish building codes. The letter cites that the wording of the bill is confusing, ineffective and “hampers the OEK’s laudable efforts to create these much needed standards”. [restrict]
“We agree that there is serious need for such standards for protection of life, limb and property…but SB 9-26 will need to be modified if it is to achieve these goals,” states the letter.
“This bill seems to be better than previous versions I have reviewed but …I recommend against endorsing this version,” commented Terangue Gillham, a Palauan professional civil and structural engineer practicing in Guam.
The letter cites that the bill is confusing and difficult to implement, referencing multiple international and US building codes, most of which are outdated and no longer used.
“This particular bill hits some of the marks, but it tries to start from scratch and loses its way early one,” commented Mr. Gillham.
The Chamber recommends looking to Guam for building code template. “Islands such as Guam have already effectively implemented building code standards” suggests the Chamber, “rather than trying to start from scratch.”
Chamber of Commerce provided a draft Life Safety Code, a pared down version of a building code that it felt would be easier to follow, implement and enforce as interim step while OEK does further research and come up with more comprehensive and effective building standards. [/restrict]