DAVAO City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) zoning administrator Froilan Rigor has confirmed that they have filed two cases before the court against owners of the illegally constructed establishments on Shrine Hills.
Rigor said they are evaluating evidence to file charges against five more violators of the Zoning Ordinance.
Rigor said in a media interview on Wednesday, October 11, that some of the owners of illegal structures along the identified landslide-prone areas of Shrine Hills have attempted to get a zoning clearance but later withdrew their application.
"Those from the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) applied for locational clearance, but they withdrew their application knowing that we have stricter policy in the area. They eventually continued with their construction," he said.
He added that the Zoning Ordinance, which was passed in 2013 and took effect in 2015, declared the area as an ecological urban subzone.
But even prior to the latest Zoning Ordinance, the 16th Davao City Council in 2011 has already declared moratorium on the issuance of the permits for any developments at Shrine Hills.
Rigor said that he believes that since 2011, no permits were issued as far as his office is concerned.
Meanwhile, Rigor identified that the sudden change of zoning status from residential to ecological subzone may have been the reason why there were still construction projects in the area.
Moreover, Rigor said their office conducts monitoring on the establishments which may have violated zoning ordinance.
"Pipila na ang nadakpan ug nahatagan og notice. Dako-dako na pud ang nabayaran nila nga penalties (Many have been caught and were given notice. They already paid a huge sum of money for penalties)," he said.
As to the issue of the monitoring Shrine Hills, Rigor said the compound of the SDA was an interior lot and thus remained undetected until the landslide exposed it.
He added that their office has the authority to file charges in court against violators of the zoning ordinance while other offices like Office of the City Building Official may also file separate charges to an establishment if there is enough proof that they also violated the National Building Code.