BAGUIO CITY – Concerned government agencies, the city government, barangay officials and community residents unanimously agreed to pursue the original agreement for the conduct of a soil test in the 8,860-square meter identified school site in Country Club Village in order to ascertain the safe areas where the 3-storey 6-classroom school building worth P10.4 million will be built.
The agreement was contained in a letter signed by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, Rep. Nicasio M. Aliping, Jr., School Division Superintendent Francis Cesar Bringas, District Engineer Alexander C. Castañeda, Education Program Supervisor Reynaldo Umayat, Country Club Punong Barangay Gil Lomboy, Country Club Village Elementary School Head Jeannette T. Lacana, Country Club Village Elementary School PTCA President Danilo Esticong and Faculty Club president Laury Camilo Binay-an which was subsequently sent to the John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC), a subsidiary of the State-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
The letter stated that the city government will deploy adequate number of police personnel to secure the members of the soil testing team commissioned by the public works department so that JHMC security guards will not unduly interrupt the smooth conduct of the said important activity.
“If the whole area will not be feasible for the purpose pursuant to the results of the soil test, then we have no recourse but to construct the structure in the basketball court. However, if there will be some areas that will be identified as safe based on the soil test results, we believe that the school building should be built in the safe place with added mitigating measures,” the letter stressed.
Domogan belied the insinuation of JHMC officials that they are prioritizing the basketball court over the school, saying that the report of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) finding the identified school site as unsafe did not refer to the whole area, thus, the need for the validation soil test in order to ascertain the safe areas where the structures will be built.
Pursuant to the provisions of resolution No. 362, series of 1994 prescribing the 19 conditionalities for the development of Camp John Hay (CJH), the City Government, through the City Land Needs Identification Committee, reserved some 8,559 square meters within the jurisdiction of barangay Country Club village for school site which is outside the fence of Camp John Hay. When you and the Bases and Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President Arnel Paciano Casanova appeared before the special session of the City Council last July 09, 2015, he informed local legislators that ‘BCDA stands to respect the 19 conditionalities’ and he also agreed to the proposal to conduct a soil test in the area which was declared by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) as geologically hazardous or unsafe in order to identify the areas that are safe for the same to be used for its prescribed purpose. During a follow-up meeting at the City Mayor’s Office several months later, you agreed to the conduct of the soil test but the said activity was never pursued by the commissioned experts because you prevented the team from doing so for still unknown reasons.
By Dexter A. See