BAGUIO City Mayor Benjamin Magalong warned illegal settlers at the Busol watershed on an eventual demolition if they do not heed orders.
Magalong said the notice to self-demolish has been sent to some 10 newly built and ongoing construction in the watershed.
The mayor said another notice will be served to remind and when these are not heeded, a demolition will ensue.
The Busol Watershed is the city’s biggest source of potable water but is laden with problems with illegal settlers which Magalong acknowledged.
Magalong said the demolition order is for those structures which are newly built as well as those who have ongoing work which is a clear violation of an order to halt any development in the area.
The mayor added cases being heard in courts will be respected and will be dealt with eventually through joint actions with the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources Cordillera (DENR-CAR).
The City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) issued cease and desist notices to owners of ongoing constructions within the forest reservation.
The city will also collaborate with the DENR-CAR to pursue the reversion procedures to reclaim the 7.8 hectare lot within the Busol Watershed that was allegedly illegally titled by unscrupulous individuals.
Filing of the case for reversion rests with the Office of the Solicitor General and up to now since the matter was discovered in 2015, the procedure has not been started despite several follow-ups done by the city and the DENR-CAR.
The City Legal Office said they plan to ask the mayor to invite the OSG to the city for a dialogue to further explain the situation.
Lawyer Melchor Carlos Rabanes, Assistant City Legal Officer said the city government as early as July 28, 2014 forwarded the matter to the OSG for the filing of reversion case to cancel the Original Certificate of Title No. 018-0-162 covers an area of 77,849 square meters which was subdivided into 22 lots with duly issued Transfer Certificates of Title (TCTs).
The Baguio Regreening Movement (BRM) chaired by former city prosecutor Erdolfo Balajadia also planned a joint action with the city government, DENR-CAR and the Baguio Water District to pursue the reversion process to cancel the irregular titles along with the court case against those responsible for the illegal titling and the filing of a petition for the issuance of a temporary environmental protection order or a Writ of Kalikasan to protect Busol. (With PR)