Cebu News

Village homeowners collecting toll on government roads?

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Private residents, particularly the Sy family, of Casals Village in Mabolo, Cebu City want the collection of road toll fees at the village stopped as the 1.7-hectare lot used as roads within the village is owned by the Cebu City government.

The residents -- Eduardo, Filomena and Mark, all surnamed Sy -- also call on the city government to look into this as two major streets within the village owned by the city were closed for a long time and were converted into a parking area and “kulungan sa manok.”

The Sy family said that the Sindulan and New Frontier Streets inside the village were permanently closed and upon their verification with the Office of the Building Official (OBO), there were no permits given by the latter for the closure of the said streets.

Section 21 of the Local Government Code provides that permanent road closures would require an ordinance from the City Council that is approved by two-thirds of its members.

The Sys added that after in an inquiry, they found that there is no ordinance approved by the City Council that would allow any road closure at the village.

Filomena is requesting Mayor Michael Rama to look into this, saying that once the blocked roads within their village are opened, this will surely decongest the traffic in the nearby areas.

In a press conference on Friday, February 3, 2023, the Sys said that the Casals Village Homeowners Association (CVHA) has been collecting toll fees of P50 for six wheelers, P600 for ten wheelers and P1,000 for cement mixers with pumpcrete per entry.

Eduardo, the Sy patriarch, questioned why the homeowners association is collecting toll fees when the roads are public.

CVHA vice president and former president Gilbert Gajudo, when sought for comments, admitted that the homeowners association collects toll fees for the maintenance of the roads.

“Kana diay naay magtagaktagak nga lapok, kinsa man diay ang molimpyo ana?" said Gajudo.

Gajudo said that the general public can just pass through both entrances of the village provided they present identification cards to the security guards on duty.

“Makaagi ra man ang publiko pero kinahanglan mopakita sila og ID kay para pud sa safety and security sa mga taga village. Kanang car sticker para ra na sa mga residente sa village aron lahoslahos ra ilang pagsulod,” he said.

Gajudo added that the two closed streets were closed for security reasons since the CVHA cannot afford to hire more security guards.

Casals Village is about seven hectares with around 200 houses. It has only two security guards.

“Daghan na man nalungkaban nganha unya walay mahimo ang mga guards because they cannot leave the entrance. Kami mismo nalungkaban na mi. We lost valuables,” said Mark, as his mother added, “mas maayo pa manawag sa Mabolo Police Station kay naa dayon.”

According to the Sy family, who has been living in the village since 1986, they have approached several government agencies, including the city government, on why the public roads within their village are being utilized like private roads.

Cebu City Department of General Services Property Management Division, in a verification report upon the request of Eduardo dated December 3, 2020, stated that based on its records, all road lots in Casals Village situated in barangay Mabolo, Cebu City are owned by the city government based on the Deed of Donation and Cebu City Ordinance 428, series of 1963.

“Pero sobra na lima ka tuig mi ani sige og follow up pero walay naminaw namo. Mao nidangop na gyud ni sa media, hinaot unta matagad ni among concerns,” said. Filomena, the Sy matriarch.

Filomena added that all 17 roads inside the village had been donated to the city since 1980 and they showed videos that the latter are the ones asphalting the roads, as well as maintaining the drainage network and street lightings.

Videos also show that several cars are parked side by side on the public roads by their owners.

Naa pa man gani nganha nga anha sa gawas i-park ang ilang jetski,” said Filomena.

Another notice posted by CVHA stated that Gate 2 shall be open for passage of person only at 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

They said that if this is indeed a public road, then how come the CVHA imposed schedule as to when people can pass the area?

CVHA president Ernie Giduquio, in his Memorandum Circular No. 02-18 dated October 12, 2018 to fellow villagers, said that their subdivision road lots within the village are for public use and appealed to the latter for orderliness and to clear and keep clean their roads from any obstruction.

Among others, the memorandum was issued as the issue on double parking with the village roads was taken seriously and became complicated when some homeowners acquired more cars beyond the limits of their designed garage.

The Sys also wonder why based on the certification issued by the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor of the Cebu City dated March 3, 2020, CVHA is duly recognized by the office as under their Socialized Housing Program.

On November 18, 2020, upon Eduardo’s inquiry from the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, the office said that CVHA is classified as regular or formal homeowners association and that there is no need for the association to register as part of the Socialized Housing Program.

DHSUD officer-in-charge Francis Ordeniza cited that socialized housing shall be the primary strategy in providing shelter only for the underprivileged and homeless.

Further, Ordeniza cited that among the eligibility criteria for socialized housing program is that the beneficiaries: must be a Filipino citizen; must be an underprivileged and homeless citizen; must not own any real property whether in  the urban or rural areas; must not be a professional squatter or a member of squatting syndicates.

“Walay squatter nga nagpuyo sa village,” said Filomena, adding majority if not all, of the houses there are made of concrete and definitely those living in the village are not homeless.

Furthermore, the CVHA issued an announcement on January 9, 2023 informing the villagers that the Cebu City Transportation Office will conduct road clearing operations at the village about the overnight parking, double parking, corner parking and parking on opposite directions.

“Pero wala man na na-implement kay nahadlok daw ang taga CCTO kay makiha niya sila kay kung ikiha daw ang taga gobyerno sila ang mo-provide og abogado sa ilang kaugalingon,” the Sy patriarch added. JMD (FREEMAN)


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

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!

or sign in with