Cebu News

Easement violators ‘Final notice’ sent to 40 structures

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — At least 40 structures, including business establishments, were served with final notices for violating the three-meter easement of the Estero de Parian, Cebu City Task Force Gubat sa Baha Chief Implementer Mel Feliciano said yesterday.

This, as he also said that in their latest efforts to combat flooding in the city, especially during rainy season, they are now involving the barangay captains to be the focal persons in implementing the clearing of structures violating the easement rule.

“So, I discussed with them (barangay captains) their important roles kay they should be the focal person in every activity of Task Force Gubat sa Baha, as far as the community is concerned,” Feliciano said.

In that same gathering last April 22, the barangay captains signified their intent of commitment to help the Task Force.

It was also in that same meeting that Feliciano discussed the “legal approach” in clearing the easement before the actual clearing of the business establishments.

Currently, the Task Force is focusing on the Estero de Parian, where the owners or management of 40 structures were given 72 hours to voluntarily remove their buildings from within the Estero de Parian three-meter easement. The distribution of the notices began last Monday, April 22.

“Estero de Parian is our priority now but we will be also going to the other rivers later. So, we distributed the final notice, pero mura’g hangtod karon (Tuesday), ga-distribute gihapon sila, wala pa mahuman,” said Feliciano.

Right after the serving of final notice, Feliciano said they will wait for the responses of the respective business establishments.

Should these establishments will not be responding within the given hours, Feliciano said they will be proceeding with clearing.

He however said that the clearing will be enacted on a “case to case” basis, wherein in other buildings will be considered depending on their structural designs.

“Kay naa may mga buildings nga siguro pwede nato ma consider ang iyang pose nga naa sa easement but it will destroy the whole building mga fourth floor ana, so we will be considering that, so case to case lang,” said Feliciano.

He added that they will be discussing this matter to also make a fair approach to these establishments.

Feliciano also said that should these establishment owners refuse to cooperate, the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO), through the Cebu City Legal Office, will be issuing cease and desist orders.

“We will stop their operations if they will not comply,” he said, adding that actual demolition will start with an order signed by the mayor.

He said that aside from the 40 business establishments, there are also 91 more structures by informal settlers.

Feliciano said the City’s Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) is now preparing the relocation area, specifically temporary shelters at the South Road Properties (SRP).

“Once ma-relocate ang mga informal settlers, ang easement sa Estero de Parian will be declared 70 percent (cleared), kay ang remaining 30 percent kay mga commercial buildings,” said Feliciano.

Once the clearing concludes, Feliciano said the easement will be transformed to a recreation park where people could opt to walk or jog.

Furthermore, Feliciano said they are now taking advantage of the dry season to intensify their efforts against flooding. — (FREEMAN)

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