By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong will go all out in pursuing the clearing and expansion of the three main highways leading to the city in collaboration with the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Magalong, during the Management Committee (Mancom) meeting last September 10, directed that eviction procedures be simultaneously implemented on all structures that encroach upon road rights-of-way (RROWs) in Marcos Highway, Naguilian Highway and Kennon Road.
“We should do it simultaneously to speed up our action instead of waiting for the process to be completed in one highway before moving on to the next because that will drag the process on,” Magalong said.
He said he has given the same order to City Engineer Officer Constancio Imson Jr. who he has tasked with the road clearing projects in support of City Engr. Edgar Victorio Olpindo.
The mayor also suggested that the city’s process in clearing roads be aligned with that of the DPWH to ensure the observance of ample due process.
City Building Official Engr. Nazita Banez said the city’s procedure would allow only for one notice for structures illegally built on RROWs, while that of the DPWH has three.
The DPWH process is being applied on the 273 structures subject of eviction procedure along Marcos Highway which the Mayor said needs to be prioritized in view of the impending closure of Kennon Road as confirmed by City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Pena.
Dela Pena said the decision to close Kennon Road was reached during the recent meeting of the technical working group studying the state and rehabilitation needs of the scenic highway where members decided to go for a three-year closure to motorists except for residents en route to total rehabilitation doing away with the band-aid solution that had cost P500 million a year.