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Monday, September 16, 2019

Grace: Baguio Connections 32

Baguio Stories

THIS week, to work, to work, to work.

There is an ongoing construction near our family residence in Camp Seven. This construction has been reported to the City Building and Architecture Office (CBAO) which has long determined that the builders have no building permit and that said builders are in violation of a litany of building code provisions.

CBAO issued against the owner/builders a first cease and Desist Order on 11 June 2018. This order was reiterated on 22 June 2018. On 28 June 2018, a Show Cause Order to the building owner was issued, to show why her Application for a Building Permit “will not be suspended,” for all violations she was guilty of.

Throughout all that time, the builders ignored the Cease and Desist Orders and the Show Cause Order and others, and their rather big building went from one floor to three. The workers work in the rain, storm, whatever. They have caused damage to neighboring properties, including ours.

Through it all, these builders exhibited no respect for neighboring properties, the CBAO orders, which include orders to pay fines, nor for neighbors whose properties they caused damage to.

The neighborhood objects to these goings on, which are actually criminal. I have personally yet to receive a response to my question to CBAO: have those fines been collected, have the orders been complied with?

After the heavy rains of last week and before that, I reported to both the CBAO and the City Disaster Risk Management and Mitigation Council (CDRMMC) that the runoff water from the construction and their earth moving activities caused our residential property to become a lake of mud.

A followup call to the City Disaster Risk Management and Mitigating Council (CDRMMC, 442-1901/2/3/4/05) yielded phones that rang off the hook, and no one answered. This caused me to call the Duterte hotline 8888, where they took down the details of my complaint, and later informed me that it has been as per their protocol been sent to the concerned agency. They also said that said agency has 72 hours to report back to them. That 72nd hour will be on Saturday, the 28th, at 7 pm. We await results.

In the meantime, after I had to call the architect in charge of the illegal construction near us, there are a couple of workers here transferring mud to a ravine across the subdivision road.

In the meantime too, the illegal construction has not stopped. This. This is what has to be stopped in Baguio: unbridled, unsupervised building that flies in the face of all that is right and legal.

And I'll say it again: the next place President Duterte should shut down is this sad, sad dump where all manner of building goes unchecked, garbage is thrown everywhere willy-nilly, and lands both private and designated was watersheds, forest reservations, and the like are with impunity occupied by anyone and everyone, regardless of the law.


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