Keep rivers, creeks obstruction-free, QC gov’t tells property owners

Published August 9, 2022, 4:20 PM

by Aaron Homer Dioquino

The Quezon City Department of the Building Official (DBO) has reminded structure and property owners to keep rivers and creeks in the city free from any form of obstruction.

Lawyer Dale Perral, DBO head, issued the reminder after a back wall inside the Union Village subdivision in Barangay Culiat collapsed last Friday, Aug. 5.

The local government said that based on their initial reports, the incident was caused by heavy rains, endangering 14 informal settler families (ISF) in the area. No injuries were reported.

It added that the wall collapsed over a creek at the other side of Union Village’s perimeter wall and on the houses of the families.

“This is a grim reminder to all structure or building owners to keep the rivers and connecting creeks clear, clean and free from any form of obstruction. We cannot disregard our existing laws and leave everything to chance,” Perral said.

“The law strictly prohibits the construction of any structure along the waterways or on top of ripraps or retaining walls since it is unsafe and poses imminent danger to life and limb of QCitizens,” the DBO head added.

He also said that the structures are considered nuisances “since they constitute a direct menace to public health or safety, and, for that reason, may be abated summarily by reason of safety.”

Perral reminded property owners not to build structures on the easement of waterways and creeks as they are considered non-buildable areas and dangers zones.

“Public safety and welfare should not be compromised. It is imperative that such portions of waterways remain free from any obstruction to avert any untoward incident and mitigate severe flooding in the city,” he stressed.

According to Perral, the city government will notify concerned property owners about the matter to give them time to voluntarily tear down encroachments in easements of waterways, before the department undertakes any demolition.

The city government said that its engineering team started removing the debris over the weekend.

It added that the removal will take several days to finish due to the rains, and a retaining wall will be constructed to replace the collapsed structure.

Assistant City Engineer Robert Lui Beltran said the team has already cleared 80 percent of the rubble.