Rama: No special treatment for commercial establishments violating 3-meter easement

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - CDN Digital Multimedia Reporter | August 17,2022 - 11:15 AM
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama for story:Rama: No special treatment for commercial establishments violating 3-meter easement

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama during an interview with reporters on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. | File photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — No one will be spared.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said that even the commercial establishments violating the three-meter easement will not be exempt in the ongoing clearing of the city’s waterways.

Rama said the city government will not succeed in its efforts to clear the waterways of all kinds of obstruction if big structures are not removed.

“We will destroy the warehouse [that is obstructing the waterway]. Im telling you, no sacred cow. It’s now or never,” Rama told reporters in an interview on Tuesday, August 16.

Rama said he is prepared to face cases that may be filed against him in court.

“Being charged because you saved lives, I’ll take that risk because it’s noble.. Never to challenge the mayor because I only meant very well, and that is saving lives,” he added.

At the same time, he reiterated his warning against those who continue to ignore the city’s call for them to already vacate their homes that are located within the easement zone.

City Hall has already resumed its clearing operation and recovery of river easements.

The city has already identified at least 2,000 structures that encroach the three-meter easement of the city’s major tributaries and other waterways.

READ: Affected families hope Cebu City sticks to relocation promise as easement clearing ops begin

The clearing of the Kinalumsan River’s downstream in Barangays Mambaling and Duljo Fatima began on August 8.

Councilor Jerry Guardo said that as of August 11, a total of 479 of 517 identified households from these two barangays have already received their P35,000 financial assistance and have voluntarily vacated their houses that are within the three-meter easement zone.

Guardo, who also sits as chairman of the City Council’s committee on infrastructure and committee on urban planning, said that aside from houses, they have also identified commercial establishments that encroached the riverbanks.

He will soon be inviting representatives of these developers and businesses at his City Hall office to discuss the city’s seriousness in implementing the recovery of the three-meter easement.

Guardo said that before the city government could order the demolition of privately-owned structures, the Department of Public Works and Highways would need to determine its appraised value.

He also said that they are still in the process of securing the contact details of the owners of these commercial establishments, including the identification of the exact number of establishments violating the easement zone.

RELATED STORIES:

Majority of structure owners encroaching Kinalumsan River agree to settle: Guardo

Affected residents’ appeal: Cash aid first before demolition

/dcb

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TAGS: 3-meter easement, businesses, Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, City Councilor Jerry Guardo, commercial establishments, Michael Rama, warehouse

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