City streamlines demolition procedures

BAGUIO CITY – The city's anti-squatting committee further streamlined the process involved in the demolition of illegal structures to make it more effective in addressing the squatting problem.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the committee led by city administrator Carlos Canilao saw the need to firm up the procedures to unify actions and speed up demolition activities.

He said the committee also decided "to abbreviate the process" to speed up demolition activities and avoid adding further to the mounting number of squatting cases now pending before the city.

As agreed on by the committee in a meeting last Wednesday, summary demolition will be employed on illegal structures that have no means of being legalized through any process.

They also agreed that the cut-off period for the demolition will be 2006 which means the illegal constructions built after said year can be subjected to outright dismantling procedures.

On-going constructions not covered by building permit and located in untitled lots have to be stopped and removed immediately before the building's completion to avoid complications.

On the other hand, constructions located in titled properties and undertaken by the property owner may be given a grace period to acquire building permit and legalize the construction.

Illegal structures located in parks, waterways, road rights-of-way and other reservations will have to be removed immediately. The body agreed to shorten the procedure by involving the concerned office at the outset of investigations.

The mayor also advised lot owners to take the responsibility of guarding their own properties to ward off squatters. He said those beset with squatting problem but are not qualified for summary demolition should file a case in court instead of going to the city.

The mayor said he directed the committee to conduct an inventory of the pending squatting cases before the city for review and for possible resolution. – A Refuerzo

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