Tacloban passes 40-meter ‘no-build zone’ ordinance

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Friday, December 13, 2013

TACLOBAN CITY -- Building of houses 40 meters from the shorelines is now prohibited following the passage by the City Council here of a “no-build zone” ordinance during its regular session Wednesday.

Lawyer Tecson John Lim said the ordinance was passed in response to the request of the International Organization for Migration, UN Habitat for Humanity, GIZ and the urban planning cluster “until they can come up with the proper building code and a master plan.”

The 40 meters shall be measured “after the high-tide,” said Lim, clarifying that the ordinance does not cover the already existing structures.

Lim, in asking for understanding from affected residents, said the City does not want a repeat of what had happened during Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last November 8.

Thousands of families have been left homeless by Yolanda, considered the strongest typhoon in the world this year. As of Friday (December 11), 6,009 people were confirmed dead, while 1,779 remained missing. [READ: Death toll from Yolanda now more than 6,000]

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“Whether or not you have a land title, no building permit will be issued to you if you will put up residential houses within 40 meters of the shorelines,” said Lim.

The enforcement of the ordinance will affect some 7,339 families from coastal communities of the city.

Meantime, the families affected will be housed in various bunkhouses or temporary shelters that are being constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways. (PNA/Sunnex)

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