BIBAK dormitory demolition pushed

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Monday, April 14, 2014


THE demolition of illegal structures at the old BIBAK dormitory along Harrison Road in Baguio City will be conducted anytime this summer.

During Monday’s executive-legislative meeting, Mayor Mauricio Domogan tasked the City Anti-Squatting Committee to set the date for the demolition of structures which have mushroomed in the area through the years.

Domogan earlier said the City Government deferred the demolition to give student boarders enough time to transfer during the summer break.

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The mayor then said the City Government is now in the process of listing down the names of structure owners for them to be notified of their violations.

Domogan, however, has been encouraging owners of these structures to voluntarily vacate the area, stressing that the local government does not want to use force in evicting informal settlers.

He said the City Building and Architecture Office together with the Public Order and Safety Division are tasked to investigate and identify owners to whom notices of demolition will be forwarded.

The RDC unanimously approved a resolution last September 12 supporting the City Government to demolish some 52 illegal structures to pave way for a dormitory for students from Cordillera provinces. 

The RDC resolution said developing the lot as a dormitory will help make Baguio an educational center and generate income from the government property.

As early as 1983, a demolition order was issued by the City Engineers Office for the demolition of at least two buildings built in the 1960s by the centralized Baguio, Ifugao, Bontoc, Apayao and Kalinga (BIBAK) to give way for the construction of a new dormitory. In 2006, a similar demolition order was made by former Mayor Braulio Yaranon but also did not materialize.

The lot in question is part of the Original Certificate of Title 1 where the Cordillera Regional Assembly building stands together with several structures which are rented out by land speculators to eateries, internet shops and other illegal structures catering to students from a nearby university and offices. 

The mayor said illegal settlers in the area are not entitled to relocation unless there is available land in the city’s socialized housing project. But he explained the structures built in the lot in question were only built in the 1990s which means they have not been occupying the questioned lot for a very long time.

He also said the city government will strictly observe procedures of demolition as specified in the Urban Development and Housing Act to avoid a violent confrontation between the demolition team and the informal settlers.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 15, 2014.

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