BAGUIO CITY – After Marcos Highway, the city will train its guns on illegal structures built on road right-of-ways 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, permit requirement 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 Lions Head in coordination with the Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Banez suggested a drastic action at the Lions 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 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 and stores 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 therefore from the building official assigned in the place where the subject building is located or the building work is to be done. /Aileen P. Refuerzo