Lion’s Head informal settlers given ultimatum

BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Public works and Highways – Baguio City District Engineering Office (DPWH-BCDEo) has given the dozens of informal settlers within the vicinity of Lion’s Head along Kennon road until November 15, 2017 to voluntarily demolish their illegal structures that were the subject of a joint demolition that was issued by the agency and the local government for the dismantling of the illegal structures that were erected on the road-right-of-way of the national road.

Engr. Rene Zarate, DPWH-BCDEO district engineer, said that by the prescribed deadline, the informal settlers must already transfer to their identified relocation area because it will be the personnel of the agency that will forcibly transfer them to their supposed permanent vending area as agreed upon during their recent meeting.

“We already agreed that by November 15, 2017, the area occupied by the informal seelters must be cleared of the illegal structures and for them to already start occupying their designated places in their identified relocation site which is now undergoing the needed facelift by the agency so that the will be no other reasons for them not to voluntarily transfer to the said place,” Zarate stressed.

The district engineer disclosed that the agency’s maintenance personnel are now working double time to improve the structure where the vendors will be relocated by painting the area and repairing the comfort room so that it will be ready for occupation by the middle of the month.

Earlier, the DPWH-BCDEO and the CBAO issued a joint demolition order for the informal settlers within the vicinity of Lion[s Head to dismantle their illegal structures that were erected in the area because the structures allegedly encroached on the road-right-of-way of Kennon road in violation of existing laws and regulations and that the structures were built without building permits that runs counter to the provisions of Presidential Decree (PD) 1096 or the National Building code.

Zarate explained that the proposal of the informal settlers to transfer at the back of the Lion’s Head so that they will be able to pursue their trade is also not advisable even with the improvements that will be introduced because the agency will be working on a master development plan for the area in coordination with the tourism department to make the area was suitable tourist destination.

According to him, the agency was able to reach a decision to impose a deadline for the dismantling of the illegal structures that were erected within the vicinity of Lion’s Head to prevent the occurrence of untoward incidents that will compromise the safety of both the informal settlers and the motoring public.

It can be recalled that the illegal structures within the vicinity of Lion’s Head were supposed to be demolished last October 10 and 11, 2017 pursuant to the issued joint demolition order but because of the repeated appeal of the affected informal settlers, the scheduled demolition was moved to November 10 before it was again adjusted to November 15.

Zarate appealed to the affected informal settlers for utmost understanding and for them to voluntarily dismantle their structures on or before the prescribed deadline and for them to transfer to their relocation site to have a safer business environment because tourists will be the ones to visit their stalls opposite the Lion’s Head. /By Dexter A. See


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