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Rough Cuts | Can the city get out of ML?

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 Engr. 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 local government of Davao City led by lady Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio and her sibling Vice Mayor Baste for the apparent success in maintaining the city’s peace and order over the past many months. Thanks too, to the local police district under Col. Alexander Tagum, and other law enforcement agencies for doing their best to ensure that the peace desired by the city mayor all these past years of her administration is maintained and further enhanced.

This is perhaps the primary reason why the city government has even become more aggressive in asking President Rodrigo Duterte to lift martial law in Davao. And they may be right since, according to the mayor, many investors have shown interest in putting their money in the city but are reportedly stymied because of martial law that is still in effect in the area.

We can only consider a few incidents that gave some “lows” in the rising enticement of Davao City as an investment destination. And these were the vulnerability of some of its coastal areas to the seasonal monsoon waves, the flash floods that inundate some of the city’s main business districts every so often, and the possibility of getting hit by a “big one” as can be observed in last week’s strong temblor.

Last Wednesday’s earthquake betrayed the city government’s still relatively weak information, communication and education program in dealing with disaster thereby mitigating its disastrous impact.

These two incidents alone showed an undesirable scenario of a city in panic which may not bode well with the extremely purse careful businessmen.

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