Busay, Malubog chiefs reveal challenges in enforcing ordinance

Busay, Malubog chiefs reveal challenges in enforcing ordinance
SunStar Local News GPX

DESPITE their desire to police illegal structures or erring developers within their barangays, some barangay officials in mountain villages said they face challenges such as confusion regarding location and getting no response from the Cebu City Hall, hindering them from exercising their power.

The leaders of the upland villages of Malubog and Busay highlighted several factors contributing to establishments being built within their jurisdiction without permits from the City.

Malubog Barangay Captain Dennis Dabuco, in a phone interview on Wednesday, May 8, said that during inspections of new developments within his barangay, some developers claim to be in the process of securing a barangay clearance from the other barangay, Busay.

“Another problem is that they say they’re processing [the permit] from Busay. When Busay officials conduct an inspection, they would say they’re processing [the permit] from Malubog,” said Dabuco in Cebuano.

Busay Barangay Captain Eliodoro “Yody” Sanchez, in a separate interview, said he is aware of this issue but noted that not many developers obtain clearance from their barangay.

Dabuco and Sanchez made their sentiments known after the Office of the Building Official (OBO) issued notices of violation to 60 establishments in the upland barangays last Tuesday for failing to secure building or occupancy permits.

While these establishments were not closed, they were instructed to secure the necessary permits from the OBO.

Deception

Dabuco also described instances where developers misled them by promising to secure building permits from City Hall after receiving a barangay clearance, but never following through on this.

Another concern raised by Sanchez is the slow response from the OBO even after it has been informed about erring establishments.

“Unfortunately, OBO is very slow in conducting inspections. They (Developers) just put up a sign saying the building permit is in process. Even after the building is completed, there is still no permit issued,” Sanchez told SunStar Cebu.

As a result, Sanchez said, he is now focusing on reminding building owners during inspections to obtain building permits from the OBO.

Dabuco and Sanchez said they are aware of their responsibilities as barangay captains, and they try to enforce their authority as their barangays will be the ones to benefit.

City Ordinance 1481 empowers barangay officials to monitor structures within their barangay, issue written notices to remove or demolish any illegal structure, and issue cease and desist orders.

Failure to exercise this power may result in charges such as misconduct in office, gross negligence, or dereliction of duty against barangay captains. / JJL

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