Structures on Baguio roads, waterways set for demolition

>> Saturday, April 3, 2021

613 illegal buildings along creeks, rivers 

By Dexter A. See and Julie G. Fianza

BAGUIO CITY – Illegal structures built on road-rights-of-way and waterways are set for demolition in this summer capital.
    Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong ordered the creation of a technical working group to probe road encroachments and make recommendations to recover these for road- widening to ease traffic.
    The mayor tasked the City Buildings and Architecture Office to remove or demolish illegal temporary structures erected on road-rights-of-way  to send a clear message the local government will not tolerate illegal structures in the city.
    Earlier, engineer Januario Borillo, chief of the City Engineering office – Transportation and Traffic Management Division, reported to the management committee the road recovery program will enhance smooth flow with traffic rules strictly implemented on roads.
    The road recovery program TWG includes representatives from the City Mayor’s Office, City Engineering Office, City Planning and Development Office, City Buildings and Architecture Office, City Assessor’s Office, City Environment and Parks Management Office, City Legal Office and Dept. of Public works and Highways – Baguio City District Engineering Office.
    Borillo said buildings and establishment owners have been using road-rights-of-way as their parking spaces to comply with Presidential Decree 1096 or the National Building Code.
    He added squatters have built structures on roads.
    He raised the issue on alleged no definite width of national roads, particularly Palispis-Aspiras highway, Quirino highway, Kennon Road and Loakan Road. 
    According to him, titles were issued on road-rights-of-way even as business establishments that encroached on these have no building permits or business permits.
    The TWG recommended CBAO personnel should verify compliance of identified buildings and business on Presidential Decree 1096 while the CEO will continue to identify buildings and businesses that have encroached on roads.
    The CEO, CBAO, City Assessor’s Office and City General services Office were urged to survey encroached areas and for CBAO and DPWH to issue notices of violation and that the City Legal Office facilitate  hearings and document compliance.
    Meanwhile, illegal structures that encroached along the city’s water ways are being monitored by the CEO, CEPMO and CBAO.
    This was also bared during the regular management committee meeting with Mayor Magalong, City Administrator Bonifacio de la Pena and city executives.  
    As of latest inspection, 613 illegal structures were found within the 3-meter easement of Balili River’s Sagudin tributaries and not covered by building permits.
    These are located in Happy Homes, North Sanitary Camp, Camdas, Trancoville, Alfonso Tabora, Magsaysay Private road, ABCR, New Lucban, Brookside, Honeymoon Holy Ghost, Holy Ghost extension, Imelda Village, Pacdal, Gibraltar, St. Joseph Village, Brookspoint, East Modernsite and Manuel Roxas barangays.   
    Said structures are privately-owned residential and boarding houses, business establishments, greenhouses, bodega, concrete fences, shanties and sheds, comfort rooms, water tanks, piggery, gazebo, plant boxes, septic tanks and on-going extension construction.      
    Some structures are built on slabs on top of creeks while some are 5-storeys high with attics and basement floors and length extending up to five meters and width up to 20 meters.
    A church hall, a private bank, portions of a public and a private school, morgue, stores, waiting shed and barangay halls are in the list.
    In a report, identified owners of said properties have been issued first and second notices of violation, as certified by the CEO, in violation of several sections of Ordinance 18, series of 2016 or the Environmental Code of Baguio City.
    The absence of building permits are also in violation of the National Building Code (Presidential Decree 1096) in relation to Letter of Instruction 19, series of 1972 ordering the removal of illegal construction on public and private property without permission from the owner.
    Reports of violations shall be submitted for hearings at the CBAO, after which titled properties and those with applications at the Dept. of the Environment and Natural Resources shall be subject of relocation surveys.
     Non-resolved issues shall be forwarded to the anti-squatting and anti-illegal structures committee who after investigation may recommend demolition of said structures.


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