Barangays renew push for CJH segregation

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Friday, August 8, 2014


THE ongoing segregation of the remaining 13 barangays in the John Hay Reservation Area is in accordance with the law.

Bases Conservation and Development Authority president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova said the segregation of these barangays from the JHRA is consistent with the Republic Act 7227, or the Bases Conversion and Development Act.

He said this despite threats of Mayor Mauricio Domogan who earlier said the City Government might contemplate on taking legal actions against BCDA for violating conditions set under Resolution 362.

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Casanova suggested instead for Domogan to back BCDA in collecting the rental obligations of its lessee Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) in which the city has a 25 percent share.

In a press statement, he highlighted, "BCDA is currently undertaking segregation of the remaining 13 barangays, by parcel, the Mayor should concentrate on collecting what is due to Baguio City from the Sobrepena-led CJHDevCo."

CJHDevCo currently has arrears amounting to P3.4 billion with the shares of the city amounting to P850 million.

According to Casanova, the significant share of the city may be used for projects in infrastructure, social services programs, construction of around 31 three storey buildings with nine classrooms worth P27 million each, around a million doses of vaccines for measles or upgrading of health facilities in the city.

“Baguio City can solve its garbage problem with their P850 million share,” he added.

Furthermore, the chief executive called the city government "to focus its efforts in curbing professional squatting in these barangays to protect the legitimate beneficiaries against corrupt individuals who are exploiting and engaging in professional squatting.”

The BCDA assured its good intentions and efforts to segregate the land to qualified and deserving beneficiaries from the 13 barangays particularly Upper Dagsian; Lower Dagsian; Country Club Village; Happy Hollow; Greenwater Village; Sta. Escolastica; Loakan Apugan; Loakan Liwanag; Loakan Proper; Outlook Drive; Lucnab; and Camp 7.

In its intent to give titles of the lands to qualified beneficiaries, Casanova shared the BCDA is already undertaking the fastest way legally possible.

He emphasized while BCDA has been doing efforts, only a Presidential Proclamation can finalize and certify the segregation of the abovementioned barangays which will be the basis in awarding the land along with the titles to the beneficiaries.

Despite the challenges met before undertaking the segregation process, BCDA and its implementing arm John Hay Management Corporation were able to complete the structural and relocation survey of land of the 13 barangays pursuant to RA 7227 with the help of a multisectoral technical working group.

The technical working group includes the BCDA, JHMC, the Baguio City government, the barangay chief of each 13 affected barangays, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Commission on Indigenous People and the National Housing Authority.

In 2005, barangay Scout Barrio, which used to be on the list with the other 13 barangays was already segregated and awarded to qualified beneficiaries.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 09, 2014.

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