Illegal structures along major roads to city will be demolished

The Baguio City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council displays a search and rescue operation in a collapsed building scenario during the 3rd Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill at the Baguio City Hall last week.** RMC PIA-CAR

BAGUIO CITY – After Marcos Highway, the city will train its guns on illegal structures built on roads right-of-way along Naguilian and Kennon Roads.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong said that while the city is in the middle of the process of removing a total of 273 illegal structures on RROWs along Marcos Highway, the same procedure should be employed on constructions of similar status along the other two major roads.
The mayor observed the presence of illegal structures in the course of the surprise inspections he conducted along Naguilian Road last week where he also noted violations of the city’s ordinances on sanitation and permit requirements, and sidewalk encroachments, among others.
For Kennon Road, he directed City Building Official Engr. Nazita Banez to again undertake the demolition of the illegal stalls particularly at the Lion’s Head in coordination with the Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Banez suggested a drastic action at the Lion’s Head due to the willful stance of the squatters who kept on returning to the place and rebuilding their structures despite being repeatedly driven away.
“It’s now a cat-and-mouse situation and it has been giving us a headache,” Banez said.
The mayor gave Banez the green light to start the demolition activities.
As a deterrent to keep the vendors from coming back, he said the city can tap the Baguio City Police Office to keep watch over the area.
The vendors’ structures numbering 15 were demolished in 2017 and again last year through the joint efforts of the CBAO and the DPWH Baguio City District Engineering office (DPWH-BCDEO) under District Engineer Rene Zarate.
Earlier investigations of the DPWH road-right-of-way committee showed that the said illegal structures consisted of shanties and stores that were obstructing the road-right-of-way of the scenic and historic zigzag road in clear violation of Section 23 of Presidential Decree No. 17, otherwise known as the Philippine Highway Act as amended, which provides that it shall be unlawful for any person to usurp any portion of a right-of-way, to convert any part of any public highway, bridge, wharf or trail to his or her own private use or to obscure the same in any manner.
On the other hand, the CBAO found that the shanties have been constructed without the required building permits in violation of Section 301 of the National Building Code of the Philippines or PD No. 1096 in relation to its implementing rules and regulations which provide that no person, firm or corporation, including any agency or instrumentality of the government, shall erect, construct, alter, repair, move, convert or demolish any building or structure or cause the same to be done without first obtaining a permit therefor from the building official assigned in the place where the subject building is located or the building work is to be done.
Earlier, the city with issued to owners of some 273 establishments along Marcos Highway that encroached on the road-right-of-way second demolition notices for them to voluntarily demolish portions of their structures that encroached on the road.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said there is a need to immediately dismantle the encroachments introduced by the 273 establishments to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.
He said the local government and the DPH-BCDEO recently issued to the establishment owners their second demolition notices and that the third demolition notices will be given out to them by next week to comply with the 3-notice rule prior to the outright removal of such improvements.
The local chief executive claimed that after complying with the prescribed 3-notice rule, the local government and the DPWH-BCDEO will be scheduling the demolition of the identified encroachments anytime right after the lapse of the grace period that will be provided.
Under the prevailing rules and regulations, owners of establishments who were issued notices of demolition can file their appeal to the Public Works Secretary.
The city mayor conducted an ocular inspection along the highway to ascertain the areas where encroachments were done.** Aileen P. Refuerzo with reports from Dexter A. See

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