Amid post-Odette rebuilding, Capitol reinforces easement zone policy
CEBU CITY, Philippines – While rebuilding efforts are ongoing in Odette-hit areas in Cebu province, the Capitol has ordered the public not to construct any structures on easement zones.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued Executive Order (EO) No. 2 reinforcing the laws that prohibit the construction in identified setbacks, easement zones, or buffer zones along riverbanks, streams, lakeshores, and seas in the province.
EO No. 2 of the governor explicitly banned the repair, construction, and reconstruction of illegal structures on riverbanks and streams and the shores of seas and lakes within three meters in urban areas, 20 meters in agricultural areas, and 40 meters in forest areas, which is in accordance with the Water Code of the Philippines (Presidential Decree No. 1067) and the Water Code of the Province of Cebu (Provincial Ordinance No. 2021-01).
Garcia signed the EO on January 14 and this took effect immediately.
Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) damaged hundreds of thousands of infrastructures, including illegal structures constructed within the identified setback or easement zones.
“In order to preserve the setbacks, easements or buffer zones established by law for the benefit of the Cebuanos, there is a need to prevent the repair and reconstruction of illegal structures that encroached upon said easement of buffer zones,” portions of the EO stated.
The Capitol has also instructed the police and town and component city mayors to enforce the new EO.
Odette hit Cebu on the evening of December 16, 2021. Presently, the Capitol is focusing its efforts in rebuilding the province.
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