Road-widening hits 27 families

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Monday, March 18, 2013


THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Cebu City will be implementing a road-widening project along Salinas Drive in Barangay Lahug that will affect some 27 families.

The families, however, sought the intervention of the City Government so the implementation of the project will be postponed.

Last month, DPWH Cebu City District Engr. Nicomedes Leonor sent notice to the families that their houses are an obstruction to the national road’s road right-of-way.

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This, Leonor said, is a violation of Presidential Decree No. 17 or the Revised Philippine Highway Act.

Section 23 of the law provides that “it shall be unlawful for any person to usurp any portion of a right-of-way to convert any part of any public highway, bridge, wharf or trail to his own private use or to obstruct the same in any manner.”

Leonor also invoked the National Building Code of the Philippines, which outlines the prohibited uses within the right-of-way.

Among the prohibited uses are establishing private or permanent structures such as buildings, houses, shanties, stores, shops, stalls, sheds, posts, canopies, billboards and signage among others.

Removal

In the notice, Leonor told the affected families to remove their structures.

“If you fail to do so, we will take appropriate measures to remove the said obstruction and prohibits uses and charge to you the corresponding costs we would incur, and we will also resort to proper sanctions provided for by existing laws and rules of the government,” he said.

The families, however, are seeking the help of the City Council, particularly the committee on housing headed by Councilor Alvin Dizon to postpone the implementation of the project, considering that their houses will be affected.

The families, whose houses are located across the office of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority 7, are living in a Cebu Province-owned lot.

They are all informal settlers, Dizon told Sun.Star Cebu.

Postponement

In an interview, Dizon, who had met the affected families, said the families want the project to be postponed so adequate consultation will be made.

He said the families want to be given assistance from DPWH.

According to Dizon, he and Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) recently talked with Leonor for the possible postponement of the project.

He said Leonor committed to put on hold the road widening until the May 13 midterms elections will be over.

On Saturday, Dizon said DPWH is expected to meet the affected families to discuss the project, adding that it will have to be implemented soon since it already has funding from the National Government.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 18, 2013.

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