‘Task Force Gubat sa Baha’ starts issuing notices to owners of encroaching houses, establishments
CEBU CITY, Philippines –Members of the Cebu City government’s “Special Task Force Gubat sa Baha” issued notices to about 2,000 houses and business establishments owners whose properties have encroached the three-meter easement of the city’s seven major rivers on Wednesday, August 24, 2022.
Lawyer Gerry Carillo, chairman of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CCDRRMC), told CDN Digital that the task force started its identification of establishments trespassing the three-meter river easement on Wednesday and will continue until this Friday, August 26, 2022.
“Nagpadayon ta karon (August 25, 2022) sa pito ka main rivers gikan sa Bulacao (which covers Bulacao and Inayawan). Ikaduha, diri sa Kinalumsan River (nga nagsugod diri sa may Buhisan padung sa Punta Princesa, Labangon, diri sa Dujo-Fatima, Mambaling until the end, diri sa tumoy),” he said.
“Diri sad sa Guadalupe River (nga nagsugod diri sa Sapangdaku padung sa ubos), dayon ang Lahug River, Estero Parian, Mahiga River, and then Butuanon River (apil na sa Pit-os and Bacayan),” he added.
Hotels, department stores, and other commercial businesses, in addition to home owners, Carillo said, were among those who received notices for public hearing.
Because of the information that was released prior to the actual operation, according to Carillo, the majority of the affected residents and establishment owners were somehow anticipating the tagging to take place.
Most residents, he claimed, were willing to “work with the city” to recover the three-meter river easement.
After notices are sent, a public hearing, will be held.
“Naa sa suwat nga duna’y pulong-pulong o public hearing nga pagahimoon. Pagpasabot nila sa programa sa siyudad nga i-recover g’yod ang three-meter easement. Ikaduha, nga kini para ni nila nga dili sila mamiligro kay matud pa sa Pagasa duna’y pito pa kabagyo nga umaabot,” he said.
He said encroachment of the three-meter river easement is illegal under Republic Act 7279, or the Urban Development Housing Act of 1992, and under the Water Code of the Philippines.
With regards to compensation, he said it would be the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), under their flood-control project, who will prepare the financial assistance.
“Ubos sa usa ka memorandum of agreement, ang DPWH will download or extend the financial assistance unya ang city mutabang lang sa pag-recover,” he said.
A total of seven team, composed of 17 offices of the Cebu City government, are tasked to gather ground data of the residents living in the three meter-easement.
These offices include the CCDRRMC, Secretary to the Mayor, Office of the City Administrator, City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), Office of the City Engineer, Office of the Building Official, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Cebu City District Office, DPWH 7, and Local Housing Board, among others.
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