THE hearing over the 147 hectare boundary dispute between adjacent municipalities of Mankayan, Benguet, and Cervantes in Ilocos Sur set on November 10 will be moved next year.
Board Member Johnny Waguis said the hearing was moved after four members of the Benguet Provincial Board travelled to Vietnam for the signing of Memorandum of Agreement for a sisterhood pact.
Waguis added they are also still waiting for the municipality of Cervantes to submit its amended formal complaint and has given Mankayan 30 days to submit their answer.
"Wala pang naisusubmit ang Cervantes so aabot ng next year, aantayin namin iyong petition complaint ng Cervantes, kung hindi sila magsusubmit hindi namin mai-schedule iyong next hearing," said Waguis.
The dispute began in 2012 when the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) approved the cadastral plan of the municipality of Cervantes but later on found overlap with the cadastral plan of the municipality of Mankayan.
With the dispute still on process, Governor Crescencio Pacalso said there is still a possibility it can be settled for as long as both parties are willing to sit down and compromise.
However, earlier Ilocos Sur officials moved to declare a failure in settlements when Mankayan officials failed to appear during hearings.
“As long as both are willing to come up with a compromise, if they are willing to sit down there is still a chance but if one party has close its mind on the matter, there is no chance,” said Pacalso.
Pacalso cited the case of Buguias and Mankayan where only one party has offered to compromise but the other party sticks to what they want giving the provincial board harder time to decide.
“I have been with Sanggunian for a long time and I also been handling the boundary disputes. In most cases, we try to ask the two parties to find a compromise,” added Pacalso.
“We advise them to come into terms for a win-win situation that would be advisable and most of the time many agree,” Pacalso quipped.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on November 13, 2017.
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