Proposal for Barangay Multi-Purpose Hall returned to committee

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By Briccio Cesar Domondon

Council Reports

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


THE City Council on Monday decided to return to the Barangay Affairs committee for study a proposed joint venture between Cabinet Hill-Teachers Camp Barangay and the Rotary Club of Baguio South, for the construction of the barangay’s multi-purpose hall along Brent Road corner Leonard Wood Road.

The reason for the return to committee decision has to do with the explanations provided by invited personalities during the regular session of the city council. As clarified by Engineer Evelyn Cayat, the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), the place where the barangay and the Rotary Club of Baguio South intends to put up the said multi-purpose hall supposedly encroaches over a road right of way of a national road established by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Another invited personality, Ms. Cordelia Lacsamana, City Government Department Head II of the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) explained that the area for the proposed construction of a vertical structure, while being a park, named as Paul Harris Park as per City Resolution No. 125 series of 2006 apparently remains to be a road right of way and therefore does not allow for the establishment of such buildings. It was further revealed by Ms. Lacsamana that the road right of way was converted into a park for the purpose of protecting the area and its environs but did not deprived it of its status as a road right of way.

On the part of the other invited personalities who attended the regular session of the City Council last Monday, such as the barangay officials of Cabinet Hill-Teachers Camp and representatives from the Rotary Club of Baguio South, they explained that their planned construction of a barangay multi-purpose hall at the Paul Harris Park aims to provide the barangay with its own barangay hall and day care center, as well as an office for the said civic organization wherein to transact their business.

However in so far as the members of the city council is concerned, and after due discussion with the invited personalities, as well as their own deliberation afterwards, the prudent action to take is to return the matter to the committee which originally requested for the appearance of the abovementioned personalities, for its further study and subsequent recommendation for a course of action.

It bears noting that what is being considered is whether the planned construction of a multi-purpose hall, within a park sitting atop a road right of way, is within allowable limits as provided by law. In this regard the committee tasked to restudy the matter could spare the time to also consider recent departmental orders issued by the DPWH over what is called a road right of way. One of these issuances is DPWH Departmental Order No. 29 with the subject entitled: “Removal of Illegal Structures and Obstructions within right of way of National Roads”. The order which was issued May of 2012 and signed by DPWH secretary Rogelio L. Singson cites the thrust of the DPWH for the improvement of road safety and thus the need to strictly enforce Departmental Order No. 52, series of 2003 of the said department entitled “Removal of Obstructions and Prohibited Uses within the Right Of Way of national roads”.

Simply said the DPWH does not allow and will not allow obstructions and prohibited uses of the right of way of national roads. Indeed, while the plan for the construction of a multipurpose hall for the barangay is very noble in purpose, nonetheless, in its prosecution and implementation prudence dictates that it must observe and comply with the laws of the land.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 25, 2012.

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