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Rough Cuts | This could be a test of the city’s resolve

So there are about a hundred commercial and residential estates rising in Davao City without the necessary permits for its construction? And the developers of these projects could face stiff penalties and sanctions from the city government?

No less than City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) head Ivan Chin Cortez admitted in a recent media forum that proceeding to construct the buildings are not only in violation of local ordinances one of which is on zoning, but also of the National Building Code.

Well, why have these violations become so pervasive? Imagine, these commercial and residential projects are mostly located in the city’s main business districts and reportedly done by small local developers!
We do not know who should be blamed for these infractions? Should it be the City Engineer/City Building Office (CEO/OCBO)? Or, should it be the CPDO?

It is very clear that with a hundred or so projects sans the required permits being able to proceed and apparently discovered only lately, some personnel in one, or perhaps all of the offices earlier mentioned could have been remiss in their duties and responsibilities.

Of course the CPDO chief has sort of admitted that the responsibility of ensuring that developers of such projects comply with government requirements belongs to his office. This he did when he disclosed that the CPDO has already deployed a team to check construction areas. As to the composition of the monitoring team we have no idea as yet. But we hope that it includes people from the CEO and the OCBO because we know that they have critical roles in the determination of the violations.

The discovery of the 100 or so projects with violations though, could already be a big challenge to the city government. It will test its resolve to implement the laws governing construction of commercial and residential buildings.

After all the violations are already established, and the violators, we presume, are already identified. Will the CPDO or the city government for that matter, just suspend the project construction and allow the erring developers to undertake late compliance of permits and other requirements? Or, will the city government order for the immediate demolition of the projects? After all, the developers are well aware of all the requirements before they can proceed with the projects. Yet, they prefer to ignore the laws and ordinances as if they can run away from it so easily. In other words, their violations are deliberate.

Really, with the big number of violators, we cannot blame some people entertaining ideas that there are loopholes somewhere in some offices of the city government that abet the wanton violations.

This time let us see how far the CDPO can go in running after non-compliers of the city’s building permit, zoning as well as the National Building Code and other related requirements for commercial and residential estate project constructions.

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We congratulate the men and women of the city government led by Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio and her sibling Vice Mayor Basti for the successful and peaceful Kadayawan Festival the whole of last week.

We also thank the different law enforcement authorities securing the peace and order situation in the entire city during the week-long festivity. And we mean the Davao City Police Office, the Task Force-Davao, the other military units operating in the peripheries of the city, and of course the members of the police and military intelligence community who toiled tirelessly to monitor presence of people out to disrupt the festivities.

We can only consider one incident that gave some “lows” in the rising decibel of the Kadayawan revelry. And that was the fire that hit a huge portion of Barangay 23-C at the coastline of Quezon Blvd. in the city.

The incident gave thousands of residents in the affected area reason to be distraught amid the Kadayawan celebration noise. What with so many families losing their houses; so many people crowding in so little available space in the barangay’s designated temporary evacuation center, the covered court. Imagine both victims of the destructive giant waves blasting houses along the coast, and last Friday’s fire lumped in the same gym!

What a contrasting scene to behold. On the one hand thousands of people reveling to celebrate the Kadayawan fest. On another the thousands of the ill-fated victims of calamities like the monsoon waves and the huge Isla Verde fire cramming for food, shelter and other assistance to be able to survive from their most trying predicaments.

Meanwhile the authorities of Davao City already know the regularity of the monsoon season and the level of destruction it heaps on the coastal population. The same authorities are also well aware of the vulnerability of the informal settler communities in the city’s coastlines to fires. In fact last Friday’s fire was not the first for Isla Verde.

Perhaps it is about time that the city government has to undertake drastic action on these communities for the long-term safety of the lives, domains and properties of residents of the concerned areas.

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