Illegal road works?: Alarm raised over road development within watershed areas in Barangay Carmen

Illegal road works?: Alarm raised over road development within watershed areas in Barangay Carmen
Screengrabbed from Vice Melchor Quitain Jr./Facebook

A DAVAO City Councilor has raised concerns regarding road construction within the watershed areas of Barangay Carmen, Baguio District.

Councilor Temujin “Tek” Ocampo, chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, brought up the issue during a watershed council management meeting. 

He highlighted the alleged construction of an illegal road by the Department of Public Works and Highways-Davao Region (DPWH-Davao) in Purok Seven of Barangay Carmen.

“This is really a concern because the road was constructed within the watershed area, and unfortunately, DMC  I don’t know if they are aware or consulted including the indigenous peoples in the area,” he said during the 11th regular session at the Sanguniang Panlungsod on Friday afternoon, March 22, 2024.   

According to him, the road construction is reportedly 50 percent completed, but its location within a protected watershed area renders it allegedly illegal.

Engineer Jay Louie Fernando, the project engineer of the second district engineering office, defended the project, stating that it is a farm-to-market road pre-validated by the Department of Agriculture-Davao Region (DA-Davao). He said the site was identified by the barangay and had prior approval, despite its location within the watershed area.

Dean Ortiz, spokesperson of DPWH-Davao, assured that the department follows proper procedures and obtains necessary permits before proceeding with any project. 

He also said that DPWH-Davao received clearance from DENR-Davao, including an environmental clearance certificate for the road construction.

Fernando further clarified DPWH-Davao's stance, stating that they believed the road construction was legal until the issue was raised during the session.

In response, Vice Mayor Melchor Quitain suggested officially forwarding the complaint to the designated committee for further discussion in the next session. RGP


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