LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Concerned government agencies and the City Government of Baguio should make the appropriate master plan of the 5,000-square meter Bontoc-Ifugao-Benguet-Apayao-Kalinga (BIBAK) property along Harrison Road in Baguio City to prevent its repeated encroachment, City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said.
Domogan, who attended the fourth quarter meeting of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera held in this town, expressed his gratitude to the region’s policy-making body for passing the appropriate resolution supporting the demolition of the illegal structures within the property.
Further, the mayor cited the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for its position that the occupants of the BIBAK property have no personality to occupy the identified public land and that their structures do not have the required building and occupancy permits.
“We should come out with a master plan for the property as soon as possible after the demolition of the illegal structures to prevent the area from being squatted upon by informal settlers and to make sure that the area will be used for its prescribed purpose to house the dormitory of students coming from the different parts of the Cordillera,” Domogan told the RDC-CAR members.
He informed the RDC-CAR that the 60 illegal structures in the property will be demolished by the middle part of January next year. The local court denied the two petitions for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and the subsequent writ of preliminary injunction to prevent the demolition, thus, there is no longer a legal impediment in implementing the demolition order.
Domogan reported the Cordillera offices of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIPP-CAR), the DENR-CAR and the local government are now pooling their respective resources to prepare for the dismantling of the illegal structures.
Thew mayor explained the adoption of the master plan will guarantee the full use of the property for its prescribed purpose and will prevent informal settlers from again intruding in the area for the benefit of students from the different parts of the region wanting to study in the city or in this capital town.
Despite not being qualified for a relocation site, the mayor revealed the local government is helping the affected families look for a relocation area as recommended by the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP).
By Dexter A. See