Officials told to be vigilant against squatting
THE SUMMER Capital’s barangay officials are being requested to be mindful of section 22 (D) of ordinance number 18, series of 2016, or the Environment Code of Baguio which provides that, “Any barangay official who tolerates or fails to report squatting and/or illegal construction activities within safeguarded lands in their jurisdiction shall be liable under this Code.”
This is stated in the City Council resolution number 395, series of 2018, authored by councilor Elaine Sembrano and signed by Mayor Mauricio Domogan.
The approved measure cites section 16 of the Local Government Code of 1991 which provides that local government units shall maintain peace and order and preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.
“The punong barangay and barangay council members, as persons in authority, are primarily responsible in the maintenance of peace and order, and in protecting the interest of the public and private sector,” it states.
The resolution stressed barangay officials must lead a serious drive in the elimination of the construction of illegal structures as these are in clear violation of the National Building Code and other pertinent laws.
It reveals that in highly-urbanized cities such as Baguio, there is an annual growth in the number of informal settlers due to the migration of people seeking better education, income and employment opportunities.
“The continuous construction of illegal structures in the different barangays of the city may continue to proliferate to the great prejudice, damage, and disadvantage of the landowners and legiti-
mate barangay inhabitants,” the measure claims.
It alleges there are dishonest persons who for profit or gain and taking advantage of the absence of the landowner, construct illegal structures willfully and deliberately in any vacant lot within the barangay to lease or sell to innocent persons either for dwelling or business purposes.
“As a consequence thereof, the registered landowner of the illegally occupied property is deprived of his or her right to peacefully utilize, possess and enjoy the same,” the measure states.