BAGUIO will go ahead with the clearing of 58 illegal structures in the Benguet-Ifugao-Bontoc-Apayao-Kalinga (BIBAK) property.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) notified the owners of the structures to tear down the structures themselves before demolition crews move in on August 11.

The mayor said he hopes the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) would no longer object to the demolition after its officials inspected the property and found that it is occupied by “unscrupulous individuals profiting from a government property.”

The city’s bid to clear the 5,000 square-meter lot on Harrison Road is supported by the former leaders of the BIBAK Student Dormitories, Inc., the Regional Development Council and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

PCUP Chairman Hernani Panganiban asked Domogan to postpone the demolition while it determines if the settlers can be classified as urban poor. The settlers have invoked the Urban Development and Housing Act (Republic Act 7279), saying they are entitled to relocation privileges. (Aileen Refuerzo)