BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered concerned city government offices to coordinate with the appropriate regional line agencies in order to work out the demolition of illegal structures that were erected along easements of waterways which are now constricting the flow of water to the different major river systems in the city.
He city the city environment and parks management office, city buildings and architecture office, the city engineer’s office and the city legal office must already work together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in order to identify the illegal structures that were built on easements of waterways and even covering the waterways for the subsequent issuance of the notices of demolition warning the owners to remove such structures that contribute in constricting the smooth flow of water to the river systems and streams around the city.
“We do not want to experience frequent flooding in our city because of the presence of obstructions in our waterways. Let us join hands in working out the removal of the illegal structures erected on waterways in order to allow water from upstream to freely flow to the river systems and streams,” Domogan said.
He directed the city anti-squatting committee to already implement the demolition of a structure that was built within the easement of the Balili River after the court lifted the temporary restraining order that it issued provisionally prohibiting the removal of the said structure, saying that it is high time for the city government to send a clear message to individuals encroaching in waterways that their structures will be subsequently removed.
Because of the city’s limited land area, informal settlers try their luck to build their illegal structures within easements of waterways and even along major river systems that tend to impede the smooth flow of water that contribute to the unexpected flooding in different parts of the city.
According to him, the onset of the rainy season is just around the corner, thus, the concerned city government departments and regional line agencies must get their acts together to jointly remove the illegal structures within waterways in order to reduce flooding incidents around the city in the coming months.
He called on barangay officials to be vigilant on the illegal construction activities of squatters in their respective areas of jurisdiction so that they can immediately report the matter to the concerned authorities to prevent the erection of illegal structures that would be difficult to remove once completed.
Domogan pointed out easements of waterways are not considered buildable areas that is why the city government is now doing its best to prevent construction activities in such areas.
The local chief executive also appealed to the DENR and DPWH officials to cooperate in the delineation of the boundaries of the city’s waterways so that the illegal structures would be identified and subsequently issued the required demolition orders to reduce flooding incidents, especially in low-lying areas of the city.