By NITZ ARANCON
JR BORJA Street extension resident Ferdinand Bagayo demolished a part of his house that encroached on a part of the road yesterday morning.
Bagayo said he would rather do it himself than wait for a demolition team from city hall that launched a renewed road-clearing campaign on orders from President Duterte.
“Ako na lang nag-guba ani para mapuslan pa nako ang kahoy,” Bagayo told the Gold Star Daily.
A composite team, composed of the police and members of the Roads and Traffic Administration, Office of the Building Official, City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department, and City Engineer’s Office, among others, started demolishing illegal structures on JR Borja Street extension yesterday morning. The team was organized by city administrator Teodoro Sabuga-a to carry out Duterte’s order for local governments to “reclaim” all public roads by Sept. 29.
Antonio Ramon Resma, the team’s spokesman, said all structures 10 meters from the center and on both sides of the JR Borja extension are considered illegal.
Resma however said the road-clearing operations would be made until Oct. 6.
“Nadugay lang mi ani nga operation kay amo mang gihulat ang mga apiktodong residente nga sila na ang magbolontaryo pag-guba sa ilang mga balay ug tindahan nga naka-sulod sa 20 meter. Pero wala man nila guba-a, ma-o nang kita na karon ang nag-demolish sa ilang mga straktora,” Resma said.
Today, the demolition team would carry out road-clearing operations on Corrales Ave.. In the coming days, they would operate on the Iponan Highway, Julio Pacana Street up to Macabalan, Carmen market area, the highways section from Lapasan to Agusan, Agusan to Bugo, Corrales extension to Puntod, Osmeña to Gaabucayan Street, Limketkai drive to Justo Ramonal, Capt. Vicente Roa Street to Hayes Street, and Burgos-Abellanosa streets.
“Wala tay mahimo kay bala-od man,” another affected JR Borja extension resident Wilfredo Banaag said after his house’s terrace was demolished.
But Ermy Ebcay, a car washer, said it would be good if city hall would sustain the campaign. “Mas maayo unta kon pirmaninte ingon sila ani para lu-ag atong dalan.”
Councilor George Goking said the road-clearing operations started by the Hapsay Dalan Task Force when it was chaired by lawyer Jose Edgardo Uy should have been sustained and improved.
Goking said the Hapsay Dalan operations have remained wanting even under the leadership of Mario Verner Monsanto.
He welcomed President Duterte’s order, saying it gave local governments a renewed energy to rid the roads and pedestrian lanes of obstructions.
“Insakto gyud ang word nga gigamit ni President Duterte nga ‘reclaim the roads’ kay kuha-on balik sa gobyerno ang dalan,” Monsanto said.