Happy Hallow mulled as eco-heritage zone-A A +A
Sunday, October 21, 2012
WITH Baguio City’s ongoing concern for the preservation, conservation, and protection of the environment, Councilor Isabelo Cosalan Jr. has lodged a legislative proposal with the City Council for the declaration of the ancestral domain of the Happy Hallow Barangay as a historical, heritage and ecological site.
Citing City Council Resolution numbered 399 passed in 2009, which adopted the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) of Happy Hallow Barangay and incorporating the same in the City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (Clup), Councilor Cosalan pointed out in his proposed ordinance that the Sustainable Development and Protection Plan formulated by the tribal clans of Happy Hallow through the technical assistance of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and other concerned government agencies represent a direct and collective vision of the Indigenous peoples of Happy Hallow to preserve and protect their domain and cultural heritage as one and distinct people.
“The ancestral domain of Happy Hallow, can be enhanced as an open museum of living Ibaloi and kankanaey culture and traditions where people can learn about the history and culture of the original settlers and tillers of the City,” he said, adding that ecologically, traditional practices are the most effective alternatives in espousing environmental reparation and protection endeavors, in consonance with existing environmental laws and policies, as well ADSDPP provides for a community based sustainable tourism activity as a medium to “promote indigenous knowledge skills and practices, strengthen the capability of the community in protecting the environment primarily focusing on the people’s continuing participation in the preservation and conservation including protection of natural resources.
Should the proposed ordinance find approval with the City Council, the ancestral domain of Happy Hallow Barangay with an area of more or less 146.4 hectares will be declared by the City as a historical, heritage and ecological site, including the appropriation of funds for its protection and development and being included in the list of the National Historical Commission’s sites for conservation, protection and restoration.
Likewise, the proposed ordinance also provides for the creation of an inter-agency committee to assist in the determination, formulation, implementation, and monitoring of appropriate programs for the enhancement and conservation of the declared ecological-heritage zone.
The said committee will be chaired by the City Mayor with the president of the Happy Hallow indigenous peoples organization as vice chairman and the village chief of Happy Hallow, HLURB representative, NCIP representative, NHCP representative, DOT representative, and NGO representative as members.
The City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) shall serve as the secretariat for the said inter agency committee.
The other tasks and functions of the said proposed committee is to secure the favorable endorsement and approval of the NHC of the Philippines for the declaration of the ancestral domain of Happy Hallow Barangay as a national historical, heritage and ecological site under the administration of the City Government of Baguio, the review and recommendation of the approval or denial of proposed development activities in the proposed Eco-Heritage Zone in accordance with the ADSDPP, the Clup and other applicable laws, and to seek the support of government and non-government institutions through the proper tripartite MOA between and among the City Government, the domain title holders and the donor/supporter, for certain programs, projects and activities not contrary to approved policies and development plans. (Brix Domondon)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 22, 2012.