Baguio mayor orders demolition in Forbes Park

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Monday, May 12, 2014


MAYOR Mauricio Domogan has ordered the immediate demolition of illegal structures inside the Forbes Park Reservation.

This as reports reached his office of ongoing massive constructions inside the forest reserve without the necessary building permits.

As per investigation of the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD), there are at least six newly constructed shanties measuring five meters by four meters made of light materials and ongoing fencing in some parts of the reservation.

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Aside from the POSD report, the City Government through the City Buildings and Architecture Office received a letter from barangay officials and concerned residents asking for the investigation into the alleged rampant squatting and selling of public lands in the area.

On-site inspection and investigation by the CBAO revealed a one story building made of concrete, cement, steel and other materials was constructed in 2012, two structures were built in 2013 and twelve newly constructed structures were erected without building permits.

Immediately, Domogan ordered the City Demolition Team to summarily demolish the illegal structures and shanties within the forest reserve.

Domogan also thanked barangay officials who assisted the team in pinpointing and investigating the alleged newly built structures in the area.

“It is the duty of the City Government to protect and preserve the remaining forest reserves from illegal settlers as this is very vital in maintaining ecological balance in the city,” Domogan stressed.

Several Presidential Proclamations have been issued over certain areas in the city including those within the Cabinet Hill-Teachers Camp Barangay covering portions of the Forbes Park Reservation, reason for the sudden increase in illegal structures.

In 1988, then President Corazon Aquino issued Presidential Proclamation 290 covering two portions of land as the Teachers Camp Reservation covering an area of 202, 980 square meters and 34,229 square meters, respectively, within Cabinet Hill-Teachers Camp Barangay.

Presidential Proclamation 613 was issued segregating Lot 2 which comprises the 34,229 square meters for disposition in favor of the actual occupants pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 7279 known as the Urban Development and Housing Act under the administration of the National Housing Authority subject to private rights and to final survey.

Director Robert Agustin of the Department of Education during a public consultation mentioned the need to protect what is left of the Teachers Camp Reservation by putting-up a perimeter fence which will be undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Another meeting was held by barangay officials and the Teachers Camp Management recently at the Mayor’s Office to thresh out issues on the implementation of city funded projects within the area.

Domogan ordered the stoppage of the construction of vertical structures within the proclaimed area in order to prevent the mushrooming of new structures.

“Newly built structures will be summarily demolished while city funded projects should be coordinated with the Teachers Camp Management to avoid complications,” Domogan warned.

A Local Inter-Agency Council is now being crafted by Lands and Urban Housing chair and Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. for the smooth implementation of Presidential Proclamations concerning land dispositions within the city including portions of the Forbes Park Reserve. (Paul Rillorta)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 13, 2014.

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