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How to Get a Building Permit in the Philippines?

Juliet Llegaria

April 20, 2024

2min read


Obtaining a building permit is a legal requirement under the National Building Code. This blog provides a step-by-step guide on securing a building permit in the Philippines, covering requirements, documents, application process, and fees. Follow this guide to navigate the process confidently and kickstart your construction project.

Steps to Obtain a Building Permit in the Philippines

Obtaining a building permit in the Philippines involves several steps that need to be followed. These steps ensure that your construction project complies with the necessary regulations and requirements. Here are the key steps to obtain a building permit:

Step 1: Determine Specific Requirements Based on Project Type

The first step in obtaining a building permit is to determine the specific requirements based on the type of project you are planning. Different projects have different requirements, and it is important to be aware of them to avoid any delays or complications in the application process.

Whether you are building a residential house, a commercial building, or any other type of structure, you need to consult with the office of the building official in your municipality to get a checklist of the requirements. This checklist will outline the documents, forms, and other information that you need to submit along with your application. It is essential to carefully review this checklist and ensure that you have all the necessary requirements before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2: Collect Necessary Documents for Application

Once you have determined the specific requirements for your project, the next step is to collect all the necessary documents for your building permit application. These documents will serve as evidence and support for your construction project, showing that it complies with the regulations and standards set by the National Building Code.

The required documents may vary depending on the type and scope of your project, but some common documents include completed application forms, tax declarations, certified copies of the title, real property tax receipts, and detailed plans of the proposed construction. It is important to gather multiple copies of these documents as they will be submitted to different offices and officials during the application process.

Step 3: Submit Application to Local Building Official

Once you have collected all the necessary documents, the next step is to submit your building permit application to the local building official in your municipality. This is usually done at the office of the building official or the city hall.

When submitting your application, make sure to bring all the required documents and forms as per the checklist provided by the office of the building official. It is also advisable to have your architect or engineer accompany you during the submission to address any questions or concerns that may arise. 

Step 4: Attend Required Inspections or Meetings

After submitting your building permit application, you may be required to attend inspections or meetings as part of the evaluation process. These inspections and meetings are conducted to assess the feasibility, safety, and compliance of your construction project.

During the inspections, representatives from the office of the building official or other relevant agencies will visit the proposed construction site to verify the accuracy of the submitted documents and ensure that the construction plans align with the regulations. 

Step 5: Payment of Fees and Issuance of Permit

Once your building permit application has been approved and all the necessary inspections and meetings have been completed, the next step is to pay the required fees. The fees vary depending on the size and complexity of your construction project, as well as the location of your municipality.

The payment of fees is usually done at the treasurer's office or a designated payment center. You will be provided with an order of payment that specifies the amount to be paid. It is important to keep the official receipt (OR) as proof of payment.

After the payment of fees, you can proceed to the office of the building official's releasing section to claim your building permit. This usually takes around five business days. Once you have received your building permit, you can start your construction project with the assurance that it is legally authorized and compliant with the regulations.

Essential Documents for a Building Permit

Filipino architect stands proudly behind a desk with an approved building permit and a blueprint.

To obtain a building permit in the Philippines, you need to submit several essential documents that provide information about your construction project and ensure its compliance with the regulations. Here are the key documents required for a building permit:

Architectural Plans and Specifications: Blueprint of Your Dream Home

Architectural plans and specifications are crucial documents that provide the blueprint and design details of your construction project. These plans and specifications are prepared by an architect or a professional engineer and serve as a guide for the construction process.

The architectural plans and specifications should include detailed drawings, layouts, and dimensions of the proposed structure. They should also specify the materials to be used, the construction methods, and any other relevant details. These documents are essential for assessing the feasibility and safety of the project and ensuring that it complies with the regulations set by the National Building Code.

Structural Safety: Ensuring Your Home's Integrity

Structural design analysis is a critical component of the building permit process, especially for multi-storey buildings or structures with complex designs. The structural design analysis is prepared by a civil engineer and ensures the safety and integrity of the proposed construction.

The structural design analysis includes calculations, simulations, and assessments of the load-bearing capacity, stability, and structural elements of the building. It determines the appropriate materials, dimensions, and construction methods to ensure that the structure can withstand the forces and loads it will be subjected to. This analysis is crucial in preventing structural failures, collapses, and other safety hazards.

Electrical, Sanitary, and Plumbing Plans: The Inner Workings

Electrical plans, sanitary plans, and plumbing plans are essential documents that outline the electrical, sanitary, and plumbing systems of your construction project. These plans provide details on the layout, connections, and specifications of these systems, ensuring their proper installation and functionality.

The electrical plans should include the location of electrical panels, outlets, switches, and other electrical components. The sanitary plans should specify the location of toilets, sinks, drains, and other sanitary fixtures. The plumbing plans should outline the water supply, drainage, and venting systems of the building.

These plans are necessary to ensure the safety, efficiency, and compliance of the electrical, sanitary, and plumbing systems with the regulations set by the National Building Code. They also help in preventing potential hazards and ensuring the proper functioning of these systems in the building.

Navigating the Building Permit Fees

Navigating the building permit fees is an important aspect of obtaining a building permit in the Philippines. The fees vary depending on various factors, such as the size and complexity of the construction project, the municipality location, and the assessment plan.

Understanding the Fee Structure

Understanding the fee structure is essential in navigating the building permit fees. The fee structure is determined based on the construction size, municipality location, and the assessment plan.

The fee structure may include different components, such as the application fee, building permit fee, inspection fee, and other miscellaneous fees. It is important to review the fee structure provided by the office of the building official and understand the breakdown of the fees to ensure accurate payment.

Please note that the estimated costs may vary depending on the specific requirements and the municipality location. It is advisable to consult with the office of the building official for the most accurate and up-to-date fee information.


Navigating the process of obtaining a building permit in the Philippines can be overwhelming, but if you are the owner of the structure or the home, you do not have to do it yourself.

It is usually part of the service of your Architectural Design partner, at Pencil Studio this process is part of our service ensuring a smooth and seamless experience for homeowners like you from planning until construction.

Contact us today, and let’s start you dream project!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average processing time for a building permit?

The average processing time for a building permit in the Philippines can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the project, the completeness of the submitted documents, and the efficiency of the office of the building official in the municipality or city hall. In general, the processing time can range from a several months to a year.

Can I expedite my building permit application?

Expedited processing of building permit applications is possible in certain cases, but it depends on the policies and procedures of the office of the building official in the Philippines. Some municipalities or cities may offer expedited services for an additional fee or under special circumstances. It is recommended to inquire with the office of the building official or consult with a professional architect or engineer for specific information on expediting your building permit application.

What happens if I build without a permit?

Building without a permit in the Philippines is a violation of the National Building Code and can result in penalties and legal consequences. If you are caught building without a permit, you may be required to stop the construction, pay fines or penalties, and obtain the necessary permits before continuing. In some cases, the local government may even order the demolition of the unauthorized structure. It is important to comply with the regulations and obtain the required permits to avoid these penalties and ensure the safety and legality of your construction project.

Are there any penalties for late permit applications?

Late permit applications in the Philippines may be subject to penalties and additional fees. The specific penalties and fees vary depending on the municipality or city where the application is being made and the policies of the office of the building official. It is important to submit your permit application on time to avoid any penalties and ensure a smooth processing of your building permit.

What are the common reasons for permit application denial?

There are several common reasons for the denial of a building permit application in the Philippines. Some of the reasons include incomplete or inaccurate documents, non-compliance with the regulations set by the National Building Code, deficiencies in the seismic analysis or structural design analysis, and non-compliance with the recommendations of the civil engineer. It is important to carefully review the requirements and guidelines provided by the office of the building official and ensure that your application meets all the necessary criteria to avoid any denial.

About the author

Juliet Llegaria

Architect, passionate about bringing life to Interior Spaces, coffeeholic.

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