^

Rama vetoes proposed demolition moratorium

May B. Miasco/NSA (The Freeman) - November 19, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Amid the appeal of urban poor groups, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday vetoed the ordinance seeking a one-year moratorium on demolition of public structures by the city government.

In a three-page document, Rama said the local legislation, which was recently approved by the council, “contravenes” existing national laws and policies, compelling him to object its approval.

“While I fully adhere and subscribe to the ultimate objective of this proposed ordinance, that is, providing adequate relocation sites for affected families, however I am constrained to veto this measure primarily because it infringes existing national laws,” he said.

The mayor cited Section 28 of Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992, which allows evictions or demolitions on danger zones, public places, and areas where government infrastructure projects will be implemented.

City Ordinance 2438, on the other hand, provides the opposite as it stops the city from demolishing illegal structures in estuaries, railroad tracks, garbage dumps, riverbanks, shorelines, sidewalks, roads, parks and playgrounds, and other public lots.

“Unfortunately, the proposed ordinance seems to allow persons and families to occupy and build structures in those danger and public areas for a year from approval of this measure. This cannot be legally done since this would violate the said national law,” Rama pointed out.

According to the mayor, if the city imposes moratorium on cases mentioned, it would be a violation of Section 44 of the said law which is punishable by a penalty of not more than six years of imprisonment or a fine of not less than P100,000, or both, at the discretion of the court.

Rama said the ordinance likewise violates a provision of the Water Code of the Philippines, which stipulates that along the margins on the entire stretch of waterways, a three-easement zone should be provided for public use.

Clearing operations, Rama added, is imperative as the city government could not take chances by allowing people to build structures in danger zones and public places that might expose them to danger.

Further, the mayor contradicted allegations that the city has been implementing clearing operations without affording affected families adequate consultation and relocation sites.

“The city government has been compliant with the requirements set by UDHA law and it has exerted extra effort and extra ordinary diligence in providing those affected informal settlers with adequate and decent relocation site,” he said.

Councilor Alvin Dizon, who authored the ordinance, criticized the mayor’s move.

“When a local government official like Mayor Rama, who is expected to uphold and protect the urban poor’s right to housing, becomes the oppressor, what is wrong with him?” Dizon, in a text message, said.

“The mayor is losing his sense of humanity and real compassion for those who are powerless to defend themselves,” he added.  (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC CEBU CITY MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA CITY CITY ORDINANCE COUNCILOR ALVIN DIZON MAYOR MAYOR RAMA RAMA REPUBLIC ACT URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING ACT WATER CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with