Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government discusses new draft law aimed at construction safety




Government discusses new draft law aimed at construction safety

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara meets for talks with members of the Supreme Council of Consultation and Recommendations over a draft law aimed at ensuring quality and safety in construction. Photo supplied

Government discusses new draft law aimed at construction safety

Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara on Thursday met for talks with members of the Supreme Council of Consultation and Recommendations over a draft law aimed at ensuring quality and safety in construction.

The discussions, which lasted from 8:30am until 12 noon, were attended by members of the Supreme Council of Consultation and Recommendations from 16 political parties.

The proposed draft law aims to ensure quality and safety in construction; protect the property and welfare of the public and property owners; safeguard the jobs of construction workers, and be accountable and effective in doing so.

The draft law, which contains 113 articles and 22 chapters, also stipulated standards for construction techniques and materials, procedures for managing the role of officials and audits, as well as the responsibilities of all relevant professionals and stakeholders.

Articles 92 to 106 specify the penalties for breaking the law – including warnings, revocation of licenses, seizing of property and equipment, fines and imprisonment – mostly concerning articles of the Criminal Code. Offenders face prison sentences of up to 10 years.

Following the meeting, Khmer Rise Party (KRP) president Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung told The Post that he supported the principles of the draft law, which would better manage Cambodia’s construction sector.

However, he raised concerns that while the draft law looked good on paper, concrete examples in the past had shown weaknesses in law enforcement.

“The ministry issued Letter 067 dated October 4, 2018, about the formation of a working group to inspect and monitor the quality of construction in Sihanoukville. But this year, a building collapsed. It shows that the working group is not active enough.

“More recently we’ve seen the partial collapse of a nine-storey building, and it was found that it had no construction permits,” Vathana Sabung said.

He said as a member of the Supreme Council of Consultation and Recommendations from the KRP, he would wait and see how effective enforcement was after the law was enacted.

Vathana Sabung said he expected the ministry to accept the various recommendations provided at the meeting to make the law effective.

Neither Sophara nor his two ministry spokesmen could be reached for comment on Thursday.

Vathana Sabung told The Post that during the meeting, Sophara allegedly denied allegations of inadequate law enforcement.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said that in general, the KRP president’s concerns were reasonable, but by making laws, it at least provided a basis to enforce the law.

“The remit of the Supreme Council of Consultation and Recommendations is to participate in drafting and reviewing the law before joining discussions at the Council of Ministers.

“The law will then reach the National Assembly for approval. I don’t know yet what its exact contents will be.

“Whether buildings have collapsed or not is a separate issue. The law is being drafted to meet the needs of the construction sector in the future, ensure standards of quality and secure the safety of our people,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,