Barangay officials urged to curb squatting

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BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan urged barangay officials in the city’s 128 barangays to help the local government in curbing squatting and the increase in the construction of illegal structures in their areas of jurisdiction to help lessen the problems now being faced on the constriction of waterways and encroachments to existing road-right-of-ways.

The local chief executive appealed to concerned barangay officials during a recent meeting of the city’s committee on anti-squatting and illegal structures aimed at empowering barangay officials to play a key role in abating the proliferation of illegal structures in their places before the situation goes out of control.

“We can provide you with the facts of cases related to the constricted waterways that eventually resulted to loss of lives and damage to properties during natural and man-made calamities, thus, let us not wait for the situation to worsen before we will act on the matter,” Domogan stressed.

He pointed out that once barangay officials discover on-going constructions in their barangays which do not have the appropriate permits from the local government, it is their obligation to stop the same but if those involved in the said illegal constructions remain adamant, the matter must be immediately referred to the concerned offices of the local government for appropriate and immediate action to avoid complications of the issue once the structure is completed.

According to him, easements of waterways and existing road-right-of-ways must not be constricted by any illegal structure because such easements and road-right-of-way have been mandated under existing laws, rules and regulations that must be enforced by barangay officials in their areas of jurisdiction.

Domogan claimed the cooperation of barangay officials in the local government’s bid to significantly reduce the encroachments to easement of waterways and road-right-of-way is important because they are the implementors of the law and they ones aware of the prevailing situation in their barangays and the  primary solution to the proliferation of squatting in the various barangays lies in them and their ability to convince people not to build on the restricted areas.

He explained that constricting the easement of waterways and road-right-of-way by constructing structures within these could harm people once we get heavy rains and water will not find their way into their natural courses or proper drainage systems.

The city mayor underscored that people in the barangays should be vigilant on what is happening in their neighbourhood by reporting to their barangay officials illegal construction of structures in restricted areas or in lands without the necessary permits from relevant offices of the local government so that appropriate action could be done to stop such structures that will be detrimental to the safety of the public.

He asserted people should not wait for the worst case scenario before taking the necessary actions to avert eminent danger.

By Dexter A. See

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