BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways – Baguio City Engineering District (DPWH-BCDEO) underscored that the agency’s primordial concern in the demolition of illegal structures erected within the road-right-of-way of national roads is for the safety of the public.
DPWH-BCDEO District Engineer Rene Zarate said the dismantling of the illegal structures within the vicinity of the Lion’s Head along Kennon Road amidst the demand for reprieve from affected informal settlers and some local officials is just to prove that the agency is inclined to pursue its mandate to make sure national roads are free from obstructions.
“We appeal to the affected individuals for utmost understanding when we implement legitimately issued demolition orders of illegal structures that were erected on the road-right-of-way of national roads because we are just performing our job to uphold the greater inters of the public and not for the interest of certain quarters,” Zarate stressed.
The DPWH-BCDEO official issued a stern warning for all individuals found to have erected illegal structures within the road-right-of-way of national roads to start voluntarily removing their improvements that encroached on the road system. The agency is inclined to implement numerous demolition orders involving the said illegal structures anytime.
In most parts of the city the unabated put up of illegal structures that encroached on road-right-of-way had been the subject of numerous complaints by the public because they obstruct the smooth flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, particularly among roads leading to the city proper and central business district area.
Zarate claimed the illegal structures are actually risks on the part of the concerned individuals because of the impending demolition of the erected structures anytime considering the agency completed an inventory of the number of illegal structures established along national roads, which is the subject of future demolition orders issued by the agency.
Aside from the illegal put up of structures within the road-right-of-way, Zarate explained the owners also violated the provisions of the National Building Code. The alleged absence of building permits issued by the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) complicates their problems.
Among those found to have encroached in the road-right-of-way of national roads include machine and vulcanizing shops and business establishments, most located within the central business district area and along major national roads leading to the city.
He explained the agency will treat the informal settlers properly if they cooperate with the rules and regulations handed down for the demolition of their structures, but they will not hesitate to rightly dismantle the illegal structures if they make it hard for them to implement their duties and responsibilities, considering that in the worst case scenario it will be the DPWH officials who will be held liable and not the informal settlers. /By Dexter A. See