BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wants the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC), a subsidiary of the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), to update the local government on the status of the long overdue segregation of the thirteen barangays within the 680hectare Camp john Hay forest reservation.
The local chief executive is seeking a meeting with JHMC officials in the coming days to get their commitments on whether or not the agency is inclined to pursue the segregation of the 13 barangays pursuant to condition No. 14 of Resolution No. 362, series of 1994 which provided for the 19 conditions imposed by the local government for the development of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ).
“We want to schedule a meeting with JHMC officials to be updated on what are the activities done to realize the segregation of the thirteen barangays located within the Camp John Hay reservation because we never heard about what is being done about it,” Domogan stressed.
He explained that the segregation of the 13 barangays has been one of the conditions that must be complied by the BCDA and the JHMC but it seems that the process has been too tedious that for over a decade now, residents in the said barangays have yet to realize the benefits of the segregation of the barangays from the reservation.
According to him, the local government must be well informed on what is being done to put a final rest on the issue and for residents to be able to have their properties titled in their name.
He explained that the survey of the metes and bounds of the barangays to be segregated was already completed and the only thing to be done by the BCDA is to proceed with the segregation of the barangays from the reservation for the residents to be able to process the titling of the properties that they were able to put up in the area through the years.
It can be recalled that the former local legislative body passed Resolution No. 362, series of 1994 which outlined the 19 conditions imposed by the local government for the development of the former American rest and recreation center wherein condition No. 14 states that the 14 barangays within the Camp John Hay forest reservation should be segregated.
Domogan expressed disappointment that several administrations had passed with the commitment to comply with the imposed conditions but the segregation of the barangays from the reservation has never been fulfilled because of the different approaches being embraced by the BCDA and JHMC officials who are appointed to the said positions.
He emphasized that what is to be done is for BCDA and JHMC is to segregate the barangays, including the open spaces, and whatever conditions to maintain the open spaces and the forested areas will be respected considering that one of the priority programs of the local government is for the implementation of activities that will enhance the greenery of the remaining forest cover in the city and for the possible increase in the forest cover to allow the environment to cope with the rapid increase in population.
Domogan remains positive that the local government and JHMC will be able to reach an agreement on how to proceed with the segregation of the 13 barangays from the Camp John Hay reservation for the benefit of the residents in the said places.
By Dexter A. See