LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government gave an ultimatum to the Pines City Doctors Hospital to voluntarily demolish the illegal fence that it constructed within a road-right-of-way leading to sitio Cogcoga in barangay Pico to allow the residents easier access to their residences in the said area.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda stated that the hospital management was given 5 days from receipt of the order to voluntarily demolish the said illegal fence that it constructed and after the lapse of the said period, it will be the local government that will dismantle the said fence to allow residents to have free access to their homes located in the said place.
The issuance of the said order was anchored on the recommendation of the inter-agency task force that was earlier created to evaluate and assess the situation where it was discovered that the put up of the concrete fence by the hospital for the protection of its housing project as the same was erected without the appropriate locational clearance, fencing and building permits from the municipal building official pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
Last August at the height of the monsoon rains, huge volume of mud and rocks from the hospital’s subdivision project above the Halsema highway along Km 4 were washed down from the mountain side and caused a tremendous traffic standstill in the area that affected the smooth flow of traffic along the main road leading to and from the municipality.
The said scenario was repeated at the height of Tropical Strom Maring last month that caused uproar among the residents and motorists regularly passing through the roadline.
The incident also forced the municipal government to file before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) an environmental case against the hospital where it was prayed that the court issue a temporary environment protection order (TEPO) and a permanent environment protection order (PEPO) that will compel the hospital management and developer to stop their illegal construction activities and for the same to conform with existing laws, rules and regulations for the preservation and the protection of the environment in the area.
Mayor Salda expressed hope that the hospital management and developer will comply with the order for them to voluntarily demolish the illegal structure that had been reacted in the area and for them to immediately institute the recommended mitigating measures to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future that pose a serious threat to the safety of life and limb.
He appealed to the residents living in the said area who had been inconvenienced by the illegal fence that was erected by the hospital and the developer to understand why it took some time for the local government to facilitate the removal of the said structure as the same had to pass through certain processes imposed by concerned government agencies and the local government in the spirit of due process.
The construction of the illegal fence by the hospital management deprived the residents living in the community beyond the said property easy access to their respective homes over the past several months where they had to walk for quite a while just for them to be able to reach their houses and that they were forced to carry their baggage going to and from their houses which was not their usual routine prior to the put up of the illegal fence.