AN OFFICIAL of the Davao City Planning Development Office (CPDO) said the
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) did not coordinate with the city prior to the excavation works they conducted at the Shrine Hills area for the road widening project.
"DPWH project does not require clearance from city but there is an agreement between the City Government and the DPWH that they will inform us prior to the start of the project. For other projects like road widening, they usually inform us but for this particular project they did not ask. They initiated the excavation on their own," CPDO officer-in-charge Ivan Cortez said.
The road widening project was identified as one of the possible factors of the landslide.
He added that there should always be coordination between the agency and the local government because this will affect the entire city as it will entail putting up alternate routes and traffic rerouting.
Cortez admitted that DPWH is partly to be blamed for the landslide. He sent DPWH a letter last August 10, 2017 asking on the excavation and what are their mitigating measures to prevent the landslide.
"They answered stating that they will place mitigating measures such as slope protection but it did not happen. The landslide has already happened and we did not see the slope protection they've committed," he said.
Cortez added that they filed charges against seven building owners which built illegal structures at Shrine Hills.
"Para sa llegal na building, as per the order of the mayor all the building developments there, filan ug kaso so nakafile na ug kaso ang city planning pito na ata ang nakafile. Kadtong private construction nga walay permit which is really under the law kinahanglan pud nila filan ug kaso (As per the mayor's directive, cases were already filed against seven illegal building developments in the area. Those who conducted private construction without permits also need to be charged)," Cortez said.
He added that they have not issued development clearance in the area since it was declared as susceptible to landslide in 2013.