Baguio residents in fear of landslide, oppose to condo expansion

RESIDENTS along Gibraltar and Mines View feared the collapse of a road and lament the foul smell caused by the construction of Suntrust 88 Gibraltar.

This developed after a landslide within the construction site occurred in the early morning of Thursday, May 11, which residents fear will cause the collapse of the building’s retaining wall.

Tower Condominium residents, sisters of the Good Shepherd Convent as well as residents in the area opposed the expansion of the original 6-storey building, which they allegedly caused the collapse of the road and foul odor from a sewage pipe.

In 2015, tower residents led by president, Jose Palma formally opposed the expansion of the Megaworld Corporation bankrolled project.

Palma in his opposition letter given to city said there was no prior consultation in the barangay, and also lamented activities such as illegal tree cutting, undermining community resources, traffic congestion and a compromised health of residents plus loss of business.

In 2016, Sister Mary Guadalupe Bautista, from the nearby Good Shepherd Convent complained of the wall in the ongoing construction, which collapsed four times and caused the sidewalk to disappear, culverts to fall and the damaged sewer line to emit a foul odor.

In the same year, sister Mary sent letters to Councilor Elaine Sembrano, Alex Castañeda of the Baguio City District Engineering Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) well as Johan Quiazon, investor relations manager of Suntrust and Andrew Tan, president and chairman of the board, complaining of the same concerns which she described to put in danger residents and tourists.

Also in 2016, the Florendo Law Office, representing Evelyn Ibay of Mines View Park, also wrote the DPWH complaining of the collapsed road.

The DPWH has ordered Suntrsust to repair the road in 2016 while Mayor Maurico Domogan in 2015 noted the complaints of Palma and assured the company has complied with zoning ordinances.

SunStar Baguio contacted the office of Suntrust for a comment and was informed the matter will be relayed to the management.

Suntrust aims to develop 4,352.96 square meters with over 400 units available when they finish the project in 2018.

An estimated water consumption of 280 cubic meters per day has been logged in their Initial environmental checklist.
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