Issue of September 2, 2018
Mt. Province

70th Courier Anniversary Issue
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LT mayor orders beefing up of anti-illegal structures team
by Ofelia C. Empian

La Trinidad, Benguet is poised to clear its streets and sidewalks from illegal structures as well as public and private lands of informal settlers with the strengthening of its anti-illegal structures committee.

Mayor Romeo Salda has issued Executive Order 015-2018 following reports of increasing number of informal settlers and illegal vendors in the municipality seeking for shelter and livelihood opportunities.

“The setting up and construction of illegal structures in both public and private lands may increase, to the prejudice of the public and legitimate landowners deprived of their right to peacefully utilize, possess, and enjoy the same. Similarly, structures without the necessary permits, may pose danger to the life and limb of members of the community as they have not passed through necessary sanctions and controls,” the EO stated.

The EO added the municipality “aims to clear both public and private lands, streets, and sidewalks of all obstructions and illegal structures” to ensure the protection of property rights and to help prevent pedestrian and traffic congestions.

In the order, due process will also be followed with the mayor responsible for the implementation of all disciplinary and summary actions regarding illegally constructed buildings or other structures, following the Local Government Code of 1991.

The Anti-Illegal Structures Committee shall be responsible for the conduct of investigation and will determine compliance of concerned individuals or groups prior to issuing demolition orders for illegal structures.

Also, it shall hear complaints regarding illegally constructed houses, buildings, and other structures or improvements on private and government lands within the town.

“The committee shall make the proper recommendations to the mayor for his proper action,” it stated.

The committee shall be composed of the municipal administrator as the chairperson, the municipal legal officer as the alternate chairperson with members from the La Trinidad Municipal Police Station, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, municipal assessor, municipal planning and development coordinator, zoning officer, building official and civil society organization representatives.

The secretariat shall be composed of the office of the planning and development, assessor, engineering office, legal services, and the La Trinidad police.

“The building official shall primarily prosecute the cause for the demolition of the structure and shall not vote as to the determination of whether the committee shall recommend for the structure to be demolished or not,” the EO added.

The committee shall have at least one regular meeting every month but the mayor may direct it to convene for cases that need immediate action.

Complaints may be filed with the Mayor’s Office or with the office of the building official.

Each case shall be decided and recommended to the mayor within 30 days from the time the parties have submitted their respective position papers to the committee.

The EO was signed on Aug. 20.

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