BCDA, NCIP revive talks on ancestral titles-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
THE Bases Conversion Development Authority will renegotiate with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to finally settle issues on questionable ancestral land claims.
BCDA president Arnel Casanova said John Hay Management Corporation and their office are planning to revive talks with the new leadership of the NCIP to investigate legitimate and non-legitimate claimants inside the Camp John Hay reservation.
This after six-months of negotiations and dialogue by the Joint Technical Working Group composed of BCDA, JHMC and NCIP fizzled out without any solid resolutions after the latter remained firm in its stance to be the sole arbiter on ancestral land claims in the city.
"Umaasa naman kami na maayos ito sa lalong madaling panahon as we are both from the Office of the President," he said.
JHMC is presently wrapping up its commissioned structural, utility and relocation survey to finally determine the metes and bounds of the barangays which are up for segregation from Camp John Hay.
JHMC president Jamie Agbayani reported only two barangays, Happy Hallow and Camp 7, have not consented to the survey due to conflicts with ancestral land claims.
Casanova, however, maintained BCDA’s stand to give out and segregate only to legitimate ancestral land claimants.
He said they have decided to pursue reversion cases to those who have been given spurious ancestral land titles.
Meanwhile, he stressed the local government of Baguio has an important role in weeding out informal settlers and prevent further land speculation in the 14 barangays comprising the Camp John Hay reservation.
The BCDA earlier denied it is preventing residents of the 13 barangays within the reservation to repair their homes. The agency stressed they will only ensure there are no extensions, expansions or developments in other properties inside Camp John Hay without their permission.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 12, 2013.