TIGHT SPACES  Shrine Hills land owners seek wider spaces under zoning law

The Shrine Hills Home and Land Owners Association, Inc. has appealed to the Davao City Council to amend the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance so as to mandate wider spaces for housing.

Florante Portillo, vice president of the SHHLOAI, told Davao reporters Tuesday that if there will be no amendment, they will be confined to live in tight spaces.

“This is because the ordinance provides that only 25 percent of our land is allowed for development while the remaining 75 percent is subject to ecological subzone,” said Portillo.

“For example, if you have 100 square meters and if you are only allowed to build 25 percent and you have three children, how will you provide them a room?” he said.

Portillo added that most of the home owners possess an average of 100 to 500 square meters and providing them with 25 percent for development will limit spaces for housing.

Nelson Go, member of SHHLOAI, emphasized that they were not consulted in the crafting of the Zoning Ordinance.

“We are confused because during the implementation in 2013 (of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of Davao City), we were given a moratorium on no build zones but we were not called, we were not informed, no nothing.” said Go.

“What we are after here is justice because we are the land owners who are entitled to build,” Go added.

What the association is appealing is for them to be allowed to “apply for executive amnesty so that those who have established their homes (before 2013) will not be violators and will not be penalized,” said Portillo.

The ordinance provides the administrative penalty of P500 per day shall be imposed against any person who undertakes pre development or pre-construction of a project in any area or land without locational clearance or Preliminary Approval and Locational Clearance (PALC) and/or Development Permit (DP) reckoned from start of the conduct of any activity of the construction.

“It will be a big amount of money for us to pay to  the government,” said Portillo

Portillo said that the association sents a letter to the city mayor requesting for a check and balance of this situation.

“We are the ones wretched here. We don’t have other land in the city, we just have this land in Shrine Hills,” Portillo added.


On the other hand, lawyer Mark T. Peñalver, program coordinator of Interface Development Intervention (IDIS) Inc., admitted that they believe there are lapses in the information dissemination but they are still determined to protect the ecological zone of Shrine Hills.

“Shrine Hills is situated in the center of the city so whatever happens on the top especially during landslides, those who are in the foot of the hill will also be affected. We are preventing that to happen that it may cause bigger problems to the city,” Peñalver said.

Peñalver added that the landslide July of last year at the Diversion Road “was just due to minimal excavations but brought huge effect to the whole city.”

He said that adding development to such area without mitigating measures to ensure the stability of the area will bring more catastrophes.