City: Remove obstructions
“The offending structure is said to be an obstruction to the city’s sewage system as it has been found to trap and accumulate garbage which exacerbated the recent flooding event in the city,” reads the letter signed by City Attorney Rey Gealon along with five other lawyers from the city’s legal department.
Paul jun E. Rosaroso, file
City: Remove obstructions
Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - October 31, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City government has ordered several establishments uptown to remove within 10 days, upon receipt of the letter from City Hall, their structures that block the city’s waterways.

Among the establishments that were issued the order is a hotel on General Maxilom Avenue that owns a structure where the body of a boy was found after being swept away by floodwaters on October 13.

The city told the hotel to demolish and remove the illegal steel matting/structure under its driveway.

“The offending structure is said to be an obstruction to the city’s sewage system as it has been found to trap and accumulate garbage which exacerbated the recent flooding event in the city,” reads the letter signed by City Attorney Rey Gealon along with five other lawyers from the city’s legal department.

Those who fail to remove the structures within the time given may face charges in court.

Mayor Edgardo Labella has said the city government can help in removing the illegal structures, as long as it will not shell out anything.

“If they would ask for help, the city would be willing but the without involving any expense from the city government because that is their doing,” Labella said.

Earlier, Labella met with representatives of close to 90 structures found to have obstructed the city’s waterways that contributed to the massive flooding on October 13.

“So far, no resistance. They manifested their commitment… we are giving them the chance to work with us,” Labella said earlier.

Based on initial reports, at least 83 establishments, houses, and other building structures are obstructing major waterways like the river in Barangays Lahug and Kamputhaw, and the creek in Barangays Tejero and Tinago.

Based on the city’s initial investigation, most of the structures are encroaching the three-meter easement along the city’s rivers and creeks, were built mostly in the 70’s to 90’s and have permits from DPWH.

“They were authorized, presumed to be legal, but since it has blocked some waterways, we suggested to work together than do drastic legal actions,” Labella said earlier.

Labella said engineering interventions would have to be made to solve the problem together with the Department of Public Works and Highways, city engineering department, city legal office, and other agencies through an ad hoc community and technical working group.

The mayor also issued an executive order forming an ad hoc committee that would assess and implement measures against structures encroaching on the easement in rivers and waterways in Cebu City.

The committee is chaired by City Engineer Kenneth Carmelita Enriquez. — Dicemay Padilla, JMO (FREEMAN)

ROAD OBSTRUCTION
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