‘Clear streets of illegal structures’

BACOLOD CITY Mayor Evelio Leonardia meets with Punong Barangays, as well as Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and councilors, City Hall executive assistants and department heads, and DILG and other government agencies on August 1, 2019 at the Bacolod City Government Center, to discuss preparations for road-clearing operations, in response to the order of DILG that was based on President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive during his 4th SONA recently. (PIO)

BACOLOD City – The Office of the Mayor here ordered the removal of all illegal structures on roads.

In a memorandum released on July 31, 2019, Mayor Evelio “Bing” Leonardia called on the attention of punong barangays and other village officials in relation to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to rid public streets of obstructions to facilitate the orderly use of thoroughfares.

The mayor echoed to the village officials the order of the president to reclaim public roads that are used for private ends.

They were also directed to “immediately prepare inventory of these public roads” and issue notices to owners of illegal structures on or before Aug. 3 – 10 days before the commencement of demolitions and/or clearing operations.

Copies of these notices must be furnished to the Office of the City Mayor before Aug. 5, the memorandum said.

The 10-day grace period would allow owners to “voluntarily” take down their illegal structures. Failure to do so would force a city-sanctioned clearing operation.

The memorandum cited that among the obstructions that would be removed are stalled vehicles – especially those that are no longer serviceable – whose owners make thoroughfares their “virtual storage areas.”

Moreover, the local government unit (LGU) ordered village officials to coordinate with each other over orderly road use.

The LGU is expecting “significant results” from village officials within 20 days.

While complying with the memorandum, barangayofficials were also reminded to be mindful of Section 30 of Republic Act 7279, or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992.

The law states that “barangay, municipal or city government units shall prevent the construction of any kind of illegal dwelling units of structures within their respective localities.”

“The head of any LGU concerned who allows, abets or otherwise tolerates the construction of any structure in violation of this section shall be liable to administrative sanctions under existing laws and to penal sanctions provided in this Act,” it added.

On Thursday, Aug. 1, a meeting was held at the Bacolod City Government Center regarding the memorandum. It was attended by Mayor Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, city councilors, city hall executive assistants and department heads, representatives from the Department of Interior and Local Government and other government agencies, punong barangays, and other barangay officials. (PIO)