Village chiefs urged to exercise power, remove illegal structures

·2 min read

A HUNDRED more structures along the waterways in Cebu City are subject for validation to see if these have caused obstructions.

The Office of the Building Official (OBO) has reminded barangay captains to monitor and exercise their supervisory authority over illegal structures in their jurisdiction by issuing cease and desist orders against owners of illegal structures.

OBO head Florante Catalan said they’ve so far identified a total of 206 structures in 17 areas that are obstructing waterways.

Catalan said the data gathered by his office will be endorsed to the task force for validation.

Two establishments were given notices to explain for the obstructions – a hotel and a building under construction both located on Gen. Maxilom Ave.

The hotel already responded to the City Legal Office, explaining that there are no columns under the structure but a “big fallen log” that had gotten wedged between the beams connected to the structure, which caused the accumulation of garbage in the area.

The management vowed to conduct regular clean-up on the river.

The owner of the other structure has yet to respond.

The task force will contact owners of buildings to discuss possible solutions without the involvement of legal action, based on Mayor Edgardo Labella orders.

Catalan said for easier collation of data, barangay captains also need to inspect structures within their jurisdictions and exercise their power pursuant to City Ordinance (CO) 1481, or the Building Construction Ordinance of Cebu City of 1993.

Under CO 1481, barangay officials are empowered to monitor structures within their barangay, send a written notice to the developer or owner to remove or demolish any illegal structure and issue a cease and desist order.

Barangay captains may face violations should they fail to implement and exercise this power such as misconduct in office, gross negligence, or dereliction of duty.

The OBO has been conducting seminars with barangay captains to remind them of their duties.

For many barangay captains, implementing the law is no problem.

Labangon Barangay Captain Victor Buendia said he has been exercising his power despite having complaints filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Cogon Pardo Barangay Captain Harry Eran said he has also been ensuring that no illegal structures are constructed in his area as they have been the caused of various community problems, such as flooding and poor sanitation.

Sambag 2 Barangay Captain Ryan Aznar said he is closely monitoring constructions in his barangay, adding that he has no problem with high-rise developments as these have complied with existing regulations. (JJL)