Thursday July 19, 2018

Baguio mayor: No extension in 'Bibak' demolition

BAGUIO City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the local government is not inclined to grant another extension on the June 30 deadline for the voluntary demolition of Benguet-Ifugao-Bontoc-Apayao-Kalinga (Bibak) property.

Domogan said it was the group who committed to voluntary remove their structures, illegally constructed by informal settlers within the 5,000-square meter lot along Harrison Road, on or before the prescribed deadline.

Domogan said city officials do not want to lose their credibility by granting another extension on the self-imposed deadline for the voluntary demolition of the illegal structures so the decision for removal on the prescribed deadline remains.

Domogan claimed he has no personal knowledge on the alleged endorsement made by former Representative Nicasio Aliping, Jr. addressed to the central office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for a local businessman to develop the property, saying such plan is not within the powers of the lawmaker.

The mayor explained that once the illegal structures are removed from the property, the agreed plan among the local chief executive and officials of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the DENR is to fence the property and subsequently work out a comprehensive master development plan.

Earlier, informal settlers signed a notarized commitment assuring city officials that they will voluntarily demolish their illegal structures on the lot on or before June 30, 2017, and that the local government will demolish the remaining structures after the committed deadline.

Domogan urged the informal settlers to comply with their signed and notarized commitment that they will voluntarily remove their illegal structures on or before their committed deadline so they can relocate to the relocation site in La Trinidad.

Domogan added officials of the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor have been in close coordination with city officials and municipal officials of La Trinidad for the conversion of the identified relocation site for the informal settlers from agricultural to residential to allow for the preparation of the development and subdivision plans.

Further, he received a formal communication from the Housing Land Use Regulatory Board that the La Trinidad municipal government is empowered to approve the development and subdivision plans of the identified relocation site for the qualified informal settlers.

The NCIP has been tasked by the Office of the President as the caretaker of the Bibak property that is planned to house a dormitory for qualified Cordillerans.

Domogan asserted that the Bibak lot should serve the purpose for which it was apportioned by the DENR from Original Certificate of Title No. 1 which covers most portions of the area and its vicinity. (PR)