BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways – Baguio City District Engineering Office (DPWH-BCDEO) disclosed the conduct of business activities on established road-right-of-way (RROW) of national and local roads are prohibited pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations promulgated relative to supposed encroachments.
Engr. Nora delos Santos, chief of the DPWH-BCDEO”s maintenance division, cited vending and repair works done in the road-right-of-way of national and local roads are not allowed, thus, structures that were built on the RROW that obstruct pedestrians should already be demolished by those who built such structures.
Earlier, the local government of Baguio forwarded to the DPWH-BCDEO various requests from a number of individuals for them to conduct business activities within established RROW of national roads for the determination whether or not such businesses fall within the limits of the RROW prior to the issuance of the business permits of the owners of said businesses/
However, delos Santos revealed the existence of rules and regulations promulgated by the DPWH central office prohibiting business activities on RROW to prevent the obstruction caused to pedestrians.
Under Department Order No. 73, series of 2014 relative to the prohibited uses within the road-right-of-way of national roads, vending, repair of vehicles, and other businesses within the sidewalk and other parts of RROW are prohibited.
Delos Santos recommended the denial of the application for business permits those business activities that are situated on the RROW of national roads to prevent the unnecessary obstruction to the pedestrians using the RROW among others.
Further, she recommended for the immediate removal of all constructed sheds, and other structures used for business activities, especially if the said structures are within the RROW of national roads to help ease the worsening congestions in the said places, especially during rush hours.
According to her, there is a need to remove illegally built structures on RROW to prevent the use of the structures for private purposes by enterprising individuals wanting to earn income at the expense of the government and compromising the welfare of the greater majority of the population.
The DPWH-BCDEO official expressed her gratitude to the local government for referring to the agency requests for issuance of business permits in areas covered by the RROW of national roads to prevent private individuals from using public property to enrich themselves, saying that barangays should be empowered to immediately report to the concerned government agencies and the city those using the RROW for their business activities considering that such activities are prohibited under existing laws, rules and regulations.
She called on individuals who built their business structures on RROW to voluntarily demolish their sheds or temporary structures and not to wait for the DPWH-BCDEO and the city to demolish their sheds.
By Dexter A. See