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Photo by: Pam Bides via SaBaguio Facebook Group

Baguio City has recently intensified its compliance efforts with a major crackdown on illegal constructions. A total of 223 new constructions without a valid building permit were halted and investigated from April 1 till date. These structures were found in various barangays in the city, both on titled and untitled lots, as well as road right-of-ways.

These illegal constructions were identified during a joint monitoring operation carried out by the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) and the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO). This move was in line with Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s order to heighten the monitoring of compliance with building permit requirements.

According to Engr. Donald Gas-ib, head of the CBAO Investigation and Demolition Division, 94 of these constructions were situated on titled lots while 106 were in unregistered lots. Furthermore, twenty-three were found encroaching on road right-of-ways.

In response to these violations, owners of structures on titled lots registered under the same person were ordered to halt construction and regularize their structures within 60 days. Builders without ownership of the titled lot received cease and desist orders, with the additional advice to resolve lot issues with the lot owners.

Constructions on unregistered lots were served with the first notice of violation and subjected to investigation.

Mayor Magalong, on March 3, instructed the CBAO, the BCPO, and other offices under the Baguio Anti-Squatting and Illegal Structures (BASIS) team to take strict action against ongoing constructions not covered by building permits. “We are taking this campaign seriously as it’s a critical issue. It’s not just about safety but also health and sanitation, all critical factors affecting the well-being of our residents,” the mayor expressed.

CBAO, having recently conducted a census of existing structures in the city, revealed a startling statistic. Of the total of 120,000 structures, a massive 80 percent or 96,000 do not have building permits.

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