THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is asking local government units to help them remove all illegal occupants on roads and sidewalks who have been playing hide-and-seek with the agency.

Engineer Elvis Calunod, DPWH maintenance division chief, said these illegal occupants are violating the law for illegally utilizing the roads and sidewalks for their own benefit.

“They are jeopardizing the safety of the pedestrians who are forced to walk in the middle of the streets and are in danger of being run over by vehicles,” Calunod said.

Calunod said that a few months ago, they organized task forces and composite teams and removed illegal occupants of the roads and sidewalks in the cities of Talisay, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue and on B. Rodriguez Street and V. Rama Avenue in Cebu City.

“But after a month, they returned to the place. This is the reason we are appealing to barangay and city officials to help DPWH in running after the violators and prevent the others from occupying the roads and sidewalks,” Calunod said.

Illegal occupants on Cebu City roads
Illegal occupants on roads and sidewalks in Cebu City are jeopardizing the safety of pedestrians, who are forced to walk in the streets instead, an official of the department of Public Works and Highways lamented. (Photo by Allan Cuizon of Sun.Star Cebu)

The DPWH official said they removed the illegal structures on roads and sidewalks on B. Rodriguez Street and V. Rama Avenue but those affected keep on restoring it.

Aside from the illegal occupation of the roads and sidewalks, Calunod said allowing the parking of vehicles on any road for a fee is illegal.

Calunod added that all these problems are also aggravated by the issuance by the Office of the Building Official (OBO) of LGUs of building permits to construct commercial buildings without requiring parking areas.