City outlines program vs illegal settlers-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Sunday, June 24, 2012
THE sluggish process of carrying out demolition of illegal structures in Baguio City has prompted the mayor to take action.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan in his weekly Ugnayan press conference said they have streamlined their anti-illegal structures program by involving city departments in the process earlier instead of these departments getting involved in the latter part of addressing problems of squatting and illegal structures.
Domogan said on illegal structures built inside parks, watersheds and reservations, the City Environment and Parks Management Office and City Building and Architecture Office are immediately involved to prevent any structure from expanding and cause for its immediate demolition.
The mayor said those who have not secured building permits but have land titles will be given ample time to comply with building permit requirements.
This directive also considers those planning to build structures in tax-declared lands.
He said thousands of pending cases on the demolition of illegal structures will be addressed swiftly as thousands of squatting and illegal structures complaints clog the city’s dockets yearly.
With this new directive, the mayor said the city will be able to focus on complaints of illegal structures built in government lands, watersheds and forest reservations and immediately issue demolition orders on these structures.
The mayor also urged private land owners to secure their lands and not wait for an action from the City Government.
He said land owners become passive in their obligation to secure their properties and pass on the obligation of removing illegal structures standing on their lands to the City Government.
He said rightful land owners have the right to protect their private lands from being encroached by illegal settlers.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 25, 2012.