December 2, 2022

The issuance of notices to vacate to occupants of 29 structures affected by the ongoing road right-of-way (RROW) clearing operations by the Baguio City District Engineering Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways along the city’s two main highways were meant to safeguard the lives and properties of the dwellers.
In their report to the Management Committee under Mayor Benjamin Magalong, City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña, City Engineer Edgar Victorio Olpindo, and City Buildings and Architecture Office under Arch. Johnny Degay said although the project is under the BCDEO, the city government is duty-bound to ensure smooth traffic flow, cleanliness, and safety of the occupants and structures affected by the project.
Dela Peña said the 29 structures, 18 of which are located along Naguilian Road and 11 along Marcos Highway, were rendered unstable when the RROW was recovered in the ongoing clearing and road widening project mandated by the national government.
“Of course, the owners could introduce measures to strengthen their structures but while it cannot be done at the moment, it is best that they leave the premises for the time being for their own protection,” Dela Peña said.
He said the BCDEO has been implementing protective measures to safeguard the affected structures, especially the old ones, and these were reviewed and proven sound at the city government’s end.
On the depth of the excavations which was complained by some residents, he said some diggings had to reach depths of six to eight meters because of the soil condition in the area.
“Malambot ang lupa sa ibang portions kaya kailangan nilang maghukay ng malalim para maabot ang magandang klase ng lupa kung saan itatayo ang supporting structure ng kalsada,” Dela Peña said.
He said some protective works had even been adjusted following the discovery of underground constructions under the sidewalks in the course of removing the road pavement.
“While excavating, they found structures serving as living rooms and store rooms under the sidewalks. It appears that the owner tunneled his way to construct these.  It’s good the sidewalks did not collapse since they are also being used as vehicle parking,” he said.
He said these were cleared and contractors were again reminded to take extra care to minimize damage to structures, especially the old and wooden ones. – Aileen P. Refuerzo