BAGUIO CITY – The city government is now embarking on the legal option to put an end to the long standing boundary dispute between the city and the nearby town of Tuba, Benguet over parcels of disputed land along the Marcos highway.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan requested Rep. Nicasio M. Aliping, Jr. to retrieve the records of the agreement between the city government and the Tuba municipal government over the disputed land area which was supposed to be incorporated in the proposed amendment of the City Charter which is still pending approval before Congress.
After a thorough perusal of the new version of the pending bill amending the century-old City Charter, the local chief executive revealed the details of the agreement on how to settle the dispute was not clearly defined, thus, the best option that would be taken by the local government is to take the appropriate legal action and subject the same to compromise agreement.
“We will try the best option to settle our boundary dispute with Tuba so that the agreed settlement will not be hanging in the air. We need to initiate the proper action so that we will be able to implement the agreed settlement the soonest,” Domogan stressed.
Under the agreed settlement, the almost 8 hectares of city property along Marcos highway that includes three-fourths of the area where the Tuba municipal building is erected among other public structures will be ceded to the Tuba municipal government while the same will be replaced by Tuba on the Sto. Tomas road area leading to the Mount Sto. Tomas forest reservation.
Considering that there was already an earlier agreed settlement that was confirmed by the city council and the municipal council, Domogan explained it will be the city that will initiate the legal proceedings in the proper court after which, both parties will subject the dispute to mediation and the subsequent finalization of the compromise agreement containing the earlier agreed settlement that will be submitted to the court for confirmation and subsequent implementation.
According to him, both parties can no longer wait for the long overdue congressional action in passing the City Charter that will also automatically concretize the boundary dispute settlement because the city and municipal governments cannot implement their desired projects within the disputed area until the existing boundary dispute shall have been settled with finality.
He cited it was unfortunate that the revised City Charter was vetoed by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III in 2013based on wrong premises that could have settled the long standing boundary dispute with Tuba which forced the parties to go back to status quo up to the present.
The city mayor said it would be unfair to Tuba if the city government will not explore other available options to concretize the agreed boundary settlement when mu8nicipal officials already agreed to the swapping of properties in order to put an end to the dispute for both parties to pursue their desired projects in the disputed areas.
He said both parties must take advantage of the situation that all concerned have no objection to the earlier agreed settlement of the dispute for the benefit of the present and future generations and to concretize their actions on their respective properties.