Baguio City firm on road, sidewalk clearing operations

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BAGUIO CITY – The  city government is firm in sustaining the continuous implementation of road and sidewalk clearing operations in the different parts of the city pursuant to the mandate handed down by President Rodrigo Duterte which will lapse by the end of the month.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong pointed out concerned government agencies and the city government involved in the road and sidewalk obstruction operations strictly followed the due process before the dismantling of the private and public structures that encroached on the road-right-of-way of national roads.

He claimed the 3-day notice rule allows the owner of structures that encroached in the road-right-of-way at least 21 days to remove the same aside from the several days allowed for individuals to voluntarily remove the encroachments prior to the involvement of the city demolition team on the matter.

The city chief executive stated apart from the obstructions on roads and sidewalks, the city government will remove encroachments on waterways and river easements to clear the same of obstructions and ensure the smooth flow of water into the city’s river systems and prevent the dumping of waste in such rivers that contribute to the deteriorating water quality in these bodies of water.

The city mayor underscored the city government knows there are many property owners who are affected by the ongoing road and sidewalk clearing operations being done in the different national roads but there is a need to continue the same because it is for the greater benefit of the majority of the city’s populace.

According to him, the city will strictly observe due process in the removal of encroachments on road-right-of-way of national rods to allow property owners to voluntarily remove their illegal improvement but the local government will be compelled to remove such obstructions if no concrete action is done by those issued notices to voluntarily remove the structures that obstruct the smooth flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

He asserted property owners know they already encroached on the right-of-way of roads and sidewalks and they should be held liable for such illegal actions and suffer the consequences of their failure to voluntarily remove the obstructions they erected on roads and sidewalks.

Earlier, the Department of Public works and Highways–Baguio City District Engineering office (DPWH-BCDEO) and the city demolition team started removing the obstructions along Marcos highway as part of their compliance to the President’s marching order for local governments to take the lead in recovering roads and sidewalks for public use.

The identified property owners were previously issued 3 successive notices for them to voluntarily remove their encroachments.

By Dexter A. See