Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara has issued a letter banning architects and engineers from carrying out construction or demolition work without permits from the authorities.

According to the letter – addressed to the secretary general of the Board of Engineers of Cambodia (BEC) and the secretary general of the Board of Architects Cambodia on April 8 – it is illegal to build, repair, demolish or establish a construction site without building, renovation or demolition permits from officials.

“It is illegal because construction carried out without the layouts and architectural designs being approved may violate regulations on urban planning and may affect public order, safety or aesthetic standards, or affect the well-being of building owners, construction workers, or the general public,” it said.

Sophara added that the ministry had requested that the BEC instruct all engineers registered with them to not carry out work without permits.

“We will send inspectors to check construction sites and will not hesitate to take action against anyone who we find breaching this legal requirement,” he said.

Sok Kin, president of the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia, told The Post on April 10 that he supported the ministry’s action.

“I think it’s a good thing that should be enforced. There are several issues, particularly from a safety point of view. Dangers have come from poorly planned concrete slabs, or even from total building collapses. Unfortunately, some foremen and engineers do not always have the skills they need, and are just there to try and make a profit. That being said, there are some very skilled engineers working in the Kingdom now,” he said.

He added that he encouraged all companies or investors to register with the ministry and obtain construction certification. It is not only good for construction, but also benefits everyone, including the government and the workers.

“Registered companies must pay taxes to the government – and the workers receive benefits from the National Social Security Fund when the company they work for is registered. Not only that, the NSSF also receives contributions from employers. Therefore, it is beneficial to all in the construction industry,” Kin said.