Baguio’s aggressive road recovery program to be implemented

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The city is inclined to aggressively implement its road recovery program to take back portions of the road-right-of-way of various roads encroached upon by structures put up by individuals and corporations.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong ordered the creation of a technical working group (TWG) to complete the study on the encroachments and formulate recommendations on how to smoothly recover built-up portions of roads to widen these roads and allow the smooth passage of both pedestrians and motorists.

He also tasked the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) to implement the removal of temporary structures erected on the road-right-of-way of roads in the different parts of the city to send a clear message that the city government will not tolerate the presence of illegal structures in the city.

Earlier, Engr, Januario Borillo, chief of the City Engineering Office–Transportation and Traffic Management Division (CEO-TTMD), reported to the management committee that one of the purposes of the road recovery program is to ensure smooth flow of traffic through the recovery of encroached road-right-of-way, education and strict enforcement of traffic rules and regulations.

The composition of the road recovery program TWG include representatives from the City mayor’s Office, City Engineering Office, City Planning and Development Office, City Buildings and Architecture Office, City Assessor’s Office, City Environment and Parks Management Office, City Legal Office and the Department of Public works and Highways–Baguio City District Engineering Office.

Borillo disclosed that among the concerns uncovered by the TWG in the initial roll out of the road recovery program include building and establishment owners using the road-right-of-way as their parking spaces to comply with the pertinent provisions of Presidential Decree (PD) 1096 or the National Building Code; buildings and structures within the road-right-of-way and roadways encroached by squatters.

Further, he also raised the issue on the alleged indefinite width of national roads, particularly Palispis-Aspiras highway, Quirino Highway, Kennon Road and Loakan Road where development in the said areas will be significantly affected.

According to him, there were also titles issued on the road-right-of-way aside from the fact that business establishments that encroached on the same have no building permits and no business permits.

Initially, the TWG recommended that CBAO personnel should verify compliance of the identified buildings and business on the pertinent provisions of Presidential Decree (PD) 1096 while the CEO will continue to identify other buildings and businesses that have encroached on the road-right-way.

Moreover, the CEO, CBAO, City Assessor’s Office and City General Services Office should conduct survey on site and for the CBAO and DPWH to issue required notices of violation and that the City Legal Office to facilitate the hearings and document compliance.

By Dexter A. See