School sites free from usufruct deals

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Sunday, April 20, 2014


THE city mayor finds no need for public schools to enter into a usufruct agreement with the Bases Conversion Development Authority and the John Hay Management Corporation.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the city will come up with a letter to Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro discussing with him the facts and history of school sites in barangays inside the Camp John Hay reservation.

He said the conflict should have been long resolved stressing they already had an agreement with previous officials of the BCDA in enforcing the 19 conditions set prior to BCDA’s takeover of the American facility particularly on the No. 14 condition effecting the immediate segregation of villages inside the reserve.

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With the school sites being part of the 13 barangays inside the reservation, he stressed there should be no usufruct agreements to be signed on school sites since these are located in barangays which must be segregated from Camp John Hay.

But the problem, Domogan said, came up when the BCDA and JHMC went directly to Secretary Luistro and moved for the finalization of usufruct agreements on several school sites.

“I think he doesn’t know the 19 conditionalities. We have to write Secretary Luistro to inform him,” the mayor said.

The mayor said in their previous meeting with JHMC Land Management and Development officer Engr. Bobby Akia the school site at Country Club Village, which falls inside the Camp John Hay reservation has long been identified as a city need and transferring it to another location is not feasible.

He said the City Government is not in favor of transferring the identified school site to a nearby basketball court, which he said is near the road further endangering children.

Domogan added a Technical Working Group composed of representatives of JHMC, the City Building and Architecture Office, City Engineers Office, Mines and Geosciences Bureau and Country Club Village will evaluate the report of the Mines Bureau stating the school site with an area of 9,000 square meters is a slide prone area.

He added the TWG must also study appropriate engineering interventions for the school sites but stressed the city is unrelenting on the enforcement of the 19 conditions particularly condition No. 14.

He also tasked the TWG to determine the exact metes and bounds and identify conflict of claims to resolve these problems as both DepEd and the city government have funds available for the completion of the school buildings in the area.
The mayor also disagreed with plans of JHMC to segregate barangays on installment basis or through several phases saying this will only prolong the process of segregation which could be done immediately.

“We become frustrated because this was already resolved in 1998 with previous BCDA officials on the segregation. Let us now agree with the 13 barangays so that they can be segregated to sign the amended proclamation,” he added.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 21, 2014.

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