Closure of ‘public roads’ in private village in Cebu City questioned

CEBU CITY -- Is closing public roads inside a private village legal?

A family here is asking the city government to help solve the issue after a homeowners association closed the public roads inside a private village in Barangay Mabolo.

The family of Eduardo Sy said that the homeowners association of Casals Village also collected toll fees for vehicles using the road inside the village.

Charging of the fees, which ranged from P50 to P1,000, was illegal as the roads inside the village are public roads, Sy told reports on Friday, Feb. 3.

The charging of toll fees started way back October 2020, the Sys said.

The Sy family added that the village has a 1.7-kilometer road network that was donated to the city government in 1980.

Since the property was already donated to the city, the road network is already a public road and no fees should be collected, the Sys said.

According to Eduardo and his wife Felomina, portions of Sindulan and New Frontier Streets inside the village were also closed and some concrete barriers were constructed.

The family said that records from the Cebu City Hall showed that closing of some roads and building concrete barriers inside the village didn’t have necessary permits.

The Sys stressed that those roads should be open to avoid causing decongestion as they are public roads.

The Sys also questioned the move of the association’s former president to have the village classified as a socialized housing when the residents living in the area are not informal settlers.

When sought for comment, Gilbert Gajudo, the former president of the association, said the toll fees that are being collected from passing vehicles are meant to offset the expenses in road maintenance.

Gajudo refused to comment further on the issue as a case has been filed against the association in relation to the issues raised by the Sys.