50 more structures in Cebu City ‘violate’ 3-meter easement rule

50 more structures in Cebu City ‘violate’ 3-meter easement rule
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AT LEAST 50 more establishments in Cebu City will be notified to clear their structures as they have encroached on three-meter easement zones, a city official said.

These establishments are situated along creeks and rivers in the city, according to Melquiades Feliciano, a retired military general who now leads the city’s Task Force Gubat sa Baha.

Clearing structures that encroach beyond the easement zone is part of the City Government’s efforts to solve flooding.

Seven waterways traverse the city. These are Guadalupe River, Bulacao River, Butuanon River, Lahug River, Kinalumsan River, Mahiga Creek, and Estero de Parian.

Feliciano, in an interview with reporters on July 1, 2024, did not specify which waterway these 50 establishments are located along. But he said all of the structures are found along the “entire” major waterways in Cebu City.

The task force’s chief implementer said the profiling of the establishments was still ongoing.

The City Government previously issued notices to 53 establishments that encroached on the three-meter easement zone along Estero de Parian.

As for these establishments, Feliciano said only 19 have successfully cleared their structures along the estero, which stretches over a kilometer in Barangays Parian, San Roque, Tejero and Tinago.

Six other establishments are currently clearing their structures.

The remaining establishments still have to clear their structures.

Establishments issued with notices are given 72 hours to comply. If they refuse, the Business Permit and Licensing Office will issue cease and desist orders to stop their operations.

The three-meter easement zone is mandated by Presidential Decree (PD) 1067, or the Water Code of the Philippines.

Article 51 of PD 1067 states that “the banks of rivers and streams and the shores of the seas and lakes throughout their entire length and within a zone of three meters in urban areas, 20 meters in agricultural areas and 40 meters in forest areas, along their margins, are subject to the easement of public use in the interest of recreation, navigation, floatage, fishing and salvage.”

Cebu City is a highly urbanized city.

The law also prohibits any person from staying in this zone longer than necessary for recreation, navigation, floatage, fishing or salvage, or from building any kind of structure. / CDF

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