Issue of April 15, 2018
     
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Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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WEEK'S MAIL
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Inaction of officials of Barangay Dontogan on ROW issues
NAME WITHHELD, Baguio City

There are many laws and ordinances enacted to deal with illegal structures within rights of way (ROWs) in Baguio. This is mainly anchored on the Revised Philippine Highway Act. In particular, there is Department of Public Works and Highways Department Order 52, s. 2003 entitled “Removal of Obstructions and Prohibited Uses within the Right-of-Way of National Roads.”

In executing the ROW order, barangay officials are expected to take a proactive stance in the prevention of the proliferation of illegal structures in the barangay by enforcing anti-squatting laws and ordinances through close coordination with other government offices and the local government unit.

However, it is unfortunate that the ROWs in Barangay Dontogan are being built with illegal structures by certain individuals who take interest in converting the right of ways for private use. Unfortunately, nothing concrete is being done by barangay officials to stop the illegal conversion of the ROWs for personal gain.

How can certain individuals cause the sale of these rights of ways without being apprehended and yet the barangay officials should have full authority to question such illegal sale? How can the barangay officials turn a blind eye on the illegal structures built on very evident right of ways?

Are the allegations that they are in collusion with these individuals true? Is it because these individuals are barangay constituents and these current barangay officials need their votes come barangay election time? Why is it that these officials act as if it is the sole responsibility of DPWH to safeguard right of ways? The very least these officials can do is to report these individuals to DPWH but none of that is being done.

Barangay officials are supposed to be the first line of defense of the local government in safeguarding right of ways against illegal use. These officials will be best remembered that it was during the most recent past under their tenure in office that these illegal structures have begun proliferating in the barangay’s right of way.

Since we cannot expect action from the officials of Barangay Dontogan, we elevate our earnest appeal to the DPWH-Baguio City District Engineering Office for the immediate removal of the illegally built structures on the ROWs in the barangay to prevent private individuals from using public property to enrich themselves.

We urge the authorities to enforce sanctions against opportunist individuals and prevent the recurrence of encroachment of ROWs. Implementation of measures that will provide a lasting solution to the illegal conversion of ROWs for private use will be very much appreciated.

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MORE ON WEEK'S MAIL
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:: Baguio must also stop entry of plastic containers
The Plastic and Styrofoam-Free Ordinance of Baguio set to be implemented in May prohibits business establishments from using such items as packaging materials. Even consumers will not be allowed to bring marketing bags.
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:: We only have one Baguio City
Baguio city is lucky because the government through the Department of Public Works and Highways allocates billions of funds for public works in the city yearly. However, I hope it is not only on road repairs.
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:: Spiritual encouragement to teachers
A friend of mine who works at the Department of Social Welfare and Development is upset by a teacher’s decision not to let a kindergarten under her custody graduate. Why? Pasaway kano.
 

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