BAGUIO CITY – Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala ordered its regional field unit here to prepare a comprehensive master development plan for the over 100-hectare Baguio Dairy Farm in order to maximize its potentials in improving the state of agriculture in the region.
Alcala said stakeholders must be able to submit to him before the end of this month the required development plan so that the agency will be able to define the direction of the dairy farm for the growth and development of agriculture as a whole in the region.
“We told them that they have to be definite on the actual use of the property. If they want to go dairy, then we will give them the cows to produce milk. It is also possible that we convert the same into small ruminants,” Alcala stressed.
He said he already talked with the people in the area and advised them to have a concrete direction on how to improve the state of the Baguio Dairy Farm so that appropriate assistance could be extended to them for the benefit of improving their sources of livelihood.
At the same time, Secretary Alcala directed the agency’s regional field unit to follow up the pending cases in relation to land disputes over the government property so that the DA will be able to closely work together for the demolition of illegal structures that were built within the government property.
He cited appropriate coordination must be done by the legal service of the agency and the Office of the Solicitor-General in order to fast track the issuance of the notices of demolition for the affected structures and to wind up pending cases before the lower courts and even the Supreme Court (SC) to clear the property from informal settlers.
Secretary Alcala explained the people administering the affairs of the Baguio Dairy Farm must already have their concrete plans on how to improve the status of the property before it will be too late as he is interested to look into an overall development plan that would guarantee economic activities within the area.
In a recent inventory conducted by the Office of the Public Order and Safety Division of the city government, it was uncovered there are more than 200 illegal structures that already sprouted in the area; thus, the need for the issuance of the required notices of demolition considering that the structures were built by informal settlers without the benefit of the mandatory building permits.
Previously, the city government had been studying the possibility of using a portion of the Baguio Dairy Farm as a central terminal for south-bound buses or a site for socialized housing projects beneficial for government workers among others.
Alcala said the comprehensive development plan of the agency’s regional office will be the priority in the crafting of a sustainable plan beneficial to the upliftment of the sources of livelihood for the people in the communities.
He assured that all development efforts within the Baguio Dairy Farm will be coordinated with the city government so that there will be a harmonious working relationship between concerned government agencies and the local government, especially in securing the upliftment of the sources of livelihood of the people.
By Dexter A. See