CHARGES READY. Acting Zoning Administrator Roy Rigor holds on Wednesday, October 11 a copy of one of the four cases they are reviewing before filing charges against property owners in Shrine Hills who violated the city’s Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. Rigor said they already filed a case against one owner on August 23 this year. The Shrine Hills area was declared an Urban Ecological Sub-zone where activities are limited to greening programs. (Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano /

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – At least five violators of the city’s Zoning Ordinance who constructed buildings in the City’s landslide-prone Shrine Hills will face charges, a city official said Wednesday, October 11.

Roy Ryan Rigor, acting zoning administrator of the City Planning Development Office (CPDO) said they already have filed charges against a private property owner who refused to stop construction despite the denial of the city to grant him clearance.

He said it was an act of “bad faith” on the part of the property owner.

“The owner appealed and again it was denied. It turned out the construction pushed through so we filed the case,” Rigor said. The case was filed on August 23 this year.

Article 14 of the Zoning Ordinance requires all owners and developers to secure locational clearance from the Office of the Zoning Administrator before conducting any construction.

Without the locational clearance, the property owner cannot acquire building permit and the building occupancy permit.

Rigor said they are reviewing four other cases and are gathering evidences.

He said they are also determining whether corporations are behind the private owners that have violated the zoning ordinance.

Violators face criminal charges and will be fined “of not less than ten percent (10%) but not more than fifty per cent (50%) of the project cost or by imprisonment of not less than six (6) months but not exceeding one (1) year or both at the discretion of the Court.”

Shrine Hills was reclassified from a residential area to an Urban Ecological Subzone which are areas intended for “massive greening program” under the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of 2013.

READ: When earth fell: Did Davao City miss the signs?

Meanwhile, environmental advocates under the Interface for Development Interventions Inc (IDIS) welcomed the move from the city government.

“They should really file cases against violators to show the public that the government is serious in implementing the ordinance and to protect the Shrine Hills,” said Chinkie Peliño-Golle, IDIS executive director.

Golle said the city government should also expedite the finalization of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Zoning Ordinance. (

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