DAGUPAN CITY – The city is now considering to declare neglected and abandoned real properties as nuisance and hazardous with attached penalties to the owners.
An ordinance is now being drafted at the Sangguniang Panlungsod on this matter, side by side with the creation of the Dagupan City Properties, Protection and Security Board (DCPPSB) with Mayor Belen T. Fernandez as chairman and the City Administrator as vice-chairman.
Proposed to be members of the DCPPSB are the heads of the Bureau of Fire Protection, Dagupan City Police Station, Public Order and Safety Office, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, One-Stop Business Center, Philippine Medical Society and the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers.
The DCPPSB will issue notice to possessors and owners identified as being potentially hazardous real properties by the City Engineering Office in consultation with the City Health Office and City Assessor’s Office that their neglected or abandoned real properties have been identified as such; and shall be responsible for deciding the appeal filed by the owner or possessor who disagrees with the findings within ten days from receipt of the notice.
Under the draft ordinance, neglected or abandoned real properties can become eyesores due to their lack of maintenance and cleanliness, can become havens for illicit activities due to their lack of security and illumination; that the real properties are potentially hazardous to the community because they can become breeding areas for disease-carrying vectors; and that uncurbed growth of tall grasses or the accumulation of trash in the said properties are fire hazards and are potentially dangerous to the community.
In the past, the city has recorded many grass fires on account of abandoned or neglected real properties.
After having been classified as potentially hazardous, real property owners will be notified within five days and the notice will contain a warning that failure on the part of the owner to comply within 20 days from receipt of the notice shall constrain the city government to enter the property and curb or eliminate or demolish the hazardous elements.
The expenses incurred by the city in doing this shall be charged against the owner of the abandoned or neglected real property.
Violators shall suffer an imprisonment of six months and shall be penalized with a fine of P5,000. They may choose to voluntarily pay the administrative fine of P3,000 within seven days and the cost of clearing and cleaning of the property shall be paid separately from the penalties or fines. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO)