The local chief executive claimed his notation in the approved 6-month amnesty program for power and water connection applications is not actually a veto but it was just to underscore the importance of sending the proper message to local legislators and the residents that the grant of amnesty should not be used as a defence to defer the demolition of illegal structures in the different parts of the city.
“We understand that electricity and water is a basic right for our people that is why we want to relax existing rules and regulations to those who do not have proofs of ownership over the lots where their houses are erected but the grant of the said right should not be used as a reason for such illegal structures not to be demolished once it will be discovered by the local government that such structures are built over identified danger zones, forest reservations and safeguarded lands,” Domogan stressed.
Earlier, the local legislative body approved an ordinance granting a 6-month amnesty for water and light connection applications by residents in the city’s barangays to allow home lot owners to acquire some of the basic amenities.
Domogan stated in his notation on the approved measure the grant of the amnesty is approved provided it will not be used as a justification for the non-demolition of the illegal structures erected on danger zones, forest reservations and safeguarded lands in the city.
Under existing rules and regulations, the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) requires applicants for power and water connections in the city to show proof of ownership on the lands where their houses are erected before the issuance of the required Certificate of Final Electrical Inspection (CFEI) that serves as basis for the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) to install power connections to the households.
The local legislative body decided to authorize the publication of the approved 6-month amnesty ordinance with the notation of the mayor so that it will be effective 15 days after it is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality.
It will be recalled the local legislative body also granted a similar amnesty for electricity and power connections several years ago to allow thousands of residents who were not yet connected with the different public utility companies for them to avail of power and water connections.
The approval of the amnesty ordinance for water and power connection applicants always crops up when local or national elections are just around the corner.
By Dexter A. See