Ancestral claimants want lands in CLUP-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Thursday, September 12, 2013
ANCESTRAL land claimants in Baguio want their lands integrated into the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Zoning ordinance of the city.
During Wednesday’s Land Summit, Baguio Ancestral Land Claimant convener Judith Maranes said they are dismayed at the non-inclusion and non-recognition of their prior rights to their ancestral lands and its eventual incorporation to the CLUP.
Maranes said not even the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development Protection Plan was incorporated into the city’s land use and zoning plans.
"The city should not bar claimants from putting their claims into forest reservations because whether they like it or not they are legitimate claims. Instead of going against them why can’t the city plan with them?" Maranes said.
She stressed legitimate Ibaloi claimants are also concerned with parks and forest reservations which is why the city must sit down with them and work for a more sustainable plan for these areas.
Onjon di Ivadoy association member Charles Siapno also aired his sentiments on the apparent disregard of original settlers in the city and how they are now deemed more of a threat than pioneers of the city. He stressed this needs to be corrected.
This was also backed by Councilor Isabelo Cosalan who stressed the prior rights of the Ibalois must be recognized and included in the CLUP and not just disregarded as they are primary stakeholders in the land issues in the city.
"We have to recognize and realize there are Ibalois in the city and they have landholdings even before the existence of townsite and forest reservations," Cosalan said.
He added the Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (Blistt) concept will not move forward without working together with the Ibalois of Baguio. He stressed another concern is some 35 percent of lands in Baguio are not even owned by the city but properties of national government.
"When they are consulted, when we talk with them then we can work a more sustainable plan for their landholdings," he stressed.
Diocese of Baguio Bishop Carlito Cenzon, meanwhile, urged local officials to come up with a more concrete plan after the summit as he stressed most results of consultations end in reports and paper and not necessarily enforcement of ordinances and plans.
Committee on Land chairman Councilor Leandro Yangot said recommendations to the CLUP during the summit will be forwarded to the City Development Council before it goes to the City Council for approval.
Meanwhile, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said they will consider the inputs made by various stakeholders during the summit and stressed there is no need to give preference to a certain tribal group and instead give equal recognition to all sectors.
Domogan panned critics on the CLUP consultation adding the inputs from various sectors are important in finally resolving land problems which have been plaguing the city's sustainable development and threatening the remaining forest reserves and parks.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 13, 2013.