Baguio City tears down structures obstructing Marcos Highway

BAGUIO CITY — A total of 37 out of 273 structures found violating the road right-of-way along the Baguio section of Marcos Highway have been demolished Thursday.

Evelyn Trinidad, Department of the Interior and Local Government-Baguio City director, said the demolition is part of the road clearing operations on Marcos Highway.

“Baka akala nila sabi lang natin, but this is a signal already, that they will know the government is serious ‘pag sinabing road clearing (maybe they thought we were just saying [we will demolish] but this is a signal for them to know that the government is serious on road clearing operations),” she said at the sidelines of the ongoing demolition on Thursday.

“Tuluy-tuloy na ito (this will go on),” Trinidad said, referring to other national highways like Naguilian Road and Kennon Road.

Trinidad said it took longer for the city government to start the demolition on the national highway because it had to follow procedures.

“Kailangan kasing sundin ang process of demolition, mag-i-issue si DPWH ng three notices, seven days apart total 21 days before it will issue a demolition order. Kailangan din may pre-demolition conference, which happened on Wednesday (We need to follow the process of demolition. The DPWH will issue three notices, which are seven days apart, and that is already 21 days before it will issue a demolition order. There is also a need to do a pre-demolition conference which happened on Wednesday),” she said.

In the pre-demolition conference, those issued a demolition order, in this case, the 37 structures, were told to do self-demolition by the implementing officers.

“We were expecting that they will do self-demolition of their structures but it looks like they did not but we will implement even if they refuse because they have been properly informed,” Trinidad said.

On Wednesday, Mayor Benjamin Magalong ordered the fast-tracking of the assessment of structures that need to be issued demolition orders for violation of the 30 meters road right-of-way for national highway.

In his State-of-the-Nation Address last July, President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered the reclamation of public roads used for private purposes.  Liza Agoot / PNA –