By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Baguio City Councilors Arthur Allad-iw, Leandro Yangot, Jr., Faustino A. Olowan, and Edgar M. Avila in a resolution approved during last Monday’s regular Council session are directing the Suntrust Properties, Inc. to cease and desist from pursuing its expansion project in Barangay Gibraltar until such time that all issues and concerns regarding the safety of their excavation and construction are addressed.
Stated on the resolution that on several occasions, the construction of a high-end condominium at Gibraltar reportedly owned by the Suntrust had been the subject of numerous complaints by residents claiming that the development in their place caused the collapse of the national road and the exposure of a sewage pipe posing danger to the lives and health of motorists and residents and the neighbouring properties as well.
The joint resolution is seeking to invite the management of the SunTrust, the officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways–Baguio City District Engineering Office (DPWH-BCDEO), barangay officials of Gibraltar and Mines View, the management of Tower Condominiums and the sisters of the Good Shepherd Convent, and the contractor of the on-going construction to appear before the local legislative body on May 22, 2017, to shed light on the complaint of residents regarding the damage and inconveniences allegedly caused by the current development work within the SunTrust property.
Last April 5, 2017, the retaining wall supporting the road at Gibraltar collapsed reducing the road to half its width preventing the public safe passage. The collapse also damaged a sewer line emitting effluents and foul odor.
According to Sister Mary Guadalupe Bautista’s complaint, the retaining wall actually has already collapsed four times. Last year, the wall collapsed due to strong rains, Sr. Bautista of Sisters of the Good Shepherd Convent called the attention of the DPWH on October 2016. The DPWH instructed the developer to reconstruct the retaining wall and repair the collapsed road.
The councilors in the resolution stated in the observance of due process, the local legislative body needs to listen to the side of the developer and the complainants to ferret out the truth and guide the local government in concretely solving and taking action as well as applicable policies in aid of legislation regulating construction works that affect the public.
Allad-iw said they need to assess the extent of the damage and the inconvenience caused and determine if it is related to the on-going Suntrust project especially that the rainy season is nearing. # nordis.net