OWNERS of 14 establishments in Barangay Tabunok, Talisay City were ordered to demolish their structures on the sidewalks.
Jonathan Tumulak, the Cebu Provincial Government’s focal person for traffic management, urged the owners of these establishments to heed the order issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) or they could face criminal charges and lose these structures in a demolition.
The notices provided to the 14 establishment owners in Barangay Tabunok represent just the first set of operations being planned by the Cebu Provincial Government and DPWH against those who put up structures or illegally park their vehicles on the sidewalks of major thoroughfares.
In a letter, the DPWH Second Engineering District told the owners of the 14 establishments to remove their structures as these were found to have obstructed the right-of-way on the Cebu Toledo Wharf Road in Tabunok.
Of the 14 establishment owners, 10 own residential structures, while four own commercial firms. Some of the owners have placed permanent structures, such as gates and parts of their houses, on the sidewalk.
Some have placed their stalls.
In his letter, DPWH Second Engineering District head Leslie Anthony Molina told the establishment owners to remove structures encroaching on the sidewalk as these violate Presidential Decree (PD) 17 or the Revised Philippine Highway Act, and PD 1096 or the National Building Code.
PD 17 states that it is illegal 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.”
Tumulak clarified that the letters issued to the 14 establishment owners were “a first warning.”
Tumulak said the DPWH will give the establishment owners at least three warnings before the agency, if it finds no cooperation, will start demolishing these structures.
“Amo lang gihangyo tong mga tag-iya anang mga estraktura nga nagpatong sa sidewalk nga magself-demolish na lang unta sila kay sa mag-atubang sila ug kaso (We are requesting them to tear down these structures themselves, rather than face cases),” Tumulak said.
Tumulak added that more letters will be sent by DPWH to errant establishment owners soon.