ILLEGAL STRUCTURES. Angel Sumagaysay, head of the Davao City’s Public Safety and Security Office (PSSO), bares Thursday (May 4, 2023) that nearly 200 structures atop dikes and under bridges have been demolished. The illegal structures are mostly extensions of houses, comfort rooms, kitchens, and cages of animals, he says.  (PNA file photo)

DAVAO CITY – Nearly 200 makeshift structures atop dikes and under bridges were demolished by the Public Safety and Security Office-River Patrol Monitoring Team (PSSO-RPMT), an official here said Thursday.

PSSO head Angel Sumagaysay, said the RPMT, tasked with the monitoring and demolition of illegal structures, noted that the bulk of the knocked-down structures are made of light materials.

“Most of these structures are located in Talomo District, at SIR, Davao River, only a few structures remain as almost all the structures have been demolished,” Sumagaysay said in a statement.

Demolitions of crude structures are also ongoing in Barangays Panacan and Bago Gallera, he added.

“Dikes (and bridges) are a form of protection for riverside communities. Once you construct over a dike or bore holes on it, its integrity weakens and it gets damaged, as water enters, the worse can happen,” Sumagaysay said.

He noted that several dikes, particularly in the Bunawan district, have already been damaged because of concrete structures built on top of them.

“This is the reason the team is pushing to demolish existing structures as soon as possible,” Sumagaysay explained.

He said they have coordinated with the City Social Welfare and Development Office for financial and other forms of support to the informal settlers. (PNA)