Cuy to LGUs: Enact
ordinances declaring danger areas as "no build zones"
July 26, 2017
QUEZON CITY – To
ensure that danger areas previously cleared of illegal occupants will
not be retaken by informal settlers, Interior and Local Government
Secretary Officer-in-Charge Catalino S. Cuy is urging local government
units (LGUs) to enact ordinances declaring said areas as "no build
No build zones refer to
easement areas defined under existing laws and policies that are not
recommended for human habitation by virtue of the danger it poses to
human life and/or property.
Cuy made the call as he
noted there had been inaction or complacency among certain LGUs
despite numerous guidelines issued by the Department on matters of
informal settler families and the LGUs role.
“Unless LGUs declare no
build zones, ISFs will always be a huge concern and this will be an
unending cycle of demolition, clearing, and relocation,” he says.
In the DILG’s recently
issued directive, Cuy called on cities and municipalities to ensure
that cleared territories remain uninhabited and unoccupied by enacting
ordinances barring any construction of residential establishments in
All barangays were also
directed to adopt the city or municipal ordinances regarding danger
areas or enact their own barangay ordinance considering that most
informal residences live in the barangays.
“Allowing or tolerating
informal settlers to build along ‘no build zones’ is a violation of
the people’s right to a balanced and healthful ecology,” he stresses.
According to Cuy, “to allow
informal settlements along railroad tracks, sidewalks or roads, or in
garbage dumps, landfills, public cemeteries, or in parks and
playgrounds is an utter disregard to public safety and an affront to
To further protect and
monitor these areas, he says, cities and municipalities should work
with their component barangays in protecting and regularly monitoring
said areas by putting up outposts, fences, signage, and/or CCTV
Section 30 of the Urban
Development and Housing Act (UDHA) specifically states that LGUs must
prevent the construction of any kind of illegal dwelling units or
structures within their respective areas of jurisdiction or face
administrative and penal sanctions.
In the case of new ISFs
occupying danger areas, the barangay shall issue a notice to be signed
by the punong barangay enjoining them to vacate the property within 24
After the lapse of the
period to vacate, the barangay, with the assistance of the police,
shall dismantle the structure whether or not the ISF has voluntarily
vacated the area.
The Department encourages
the concerned city or municipality to use its power to prosecute
professional squatters or members of squatting syndicates, and any
individual or group who will occupy or cause any other person to
occupy cleared areas.