THE decade long contested area between Itogon and Bokod in Benguet was reduced 3,040.37 from 15,000 hectares.
In the order of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Benguet, representative of both parties manifest they accept the recommendation of the AdHoc Committee composed of the technical working group of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Municipal Assessor’s of Bokod and Itogon and the Acting Provincial Assessor of the province of Benguet of the boundary dispute between Itogon and Bokod.
“It can be surmised that during the Ad Hoc Committee session held on January 4, 2019, more particularly on the presentation of maps based on actual plotting of all pieces of documentary evidence submitted by both parties for mapping purposes, the issue thus lies on the subject 3,040.37 hectares where most of the submitted tax declarations of Itogon municipality falls and none falls on the other portions of the subject of their petition,” the concluding portion of the AdHoc Committee report reads.
The order of the provincial board was made with the presence of the chief of surveys and mapping division of DENR in the Cordillera, representatives from Itogon and Bokod and members of the Provincial Board of Benguet.
The order also directed the surveys and mapping division, technical services of the environment agency in the region to make the necessary corrections on the respective cadastral surveys of both municipalities noting the reduction of the disputed area.
Benguet Vice – Governor Johnny Waguis said the order was already submitted to the Land Management Services (LMS) and to the Land Management Bureau of DENR.
To recall, the local government unit of Itogon filed a petition against the local government of Bokod with Provincial Board of Benguet.
Then Itogon Mayor Alfonso Fianza issued a certification that the boundary of Itogon at the northern portion is a line connecting Mount Pack to Mount Patoktok.
However this was questioned by Bokod, asserting that Barangays Pito, Boboc-Bisal and portions of Barangay Poblacion and Ambuclao which are included within the claim of Itogon are not disputed areas.
Several hearings followed where both counsels of municipalities manifested the historical background of the towns followed by the creation of an Ad Hoc committee in 2018 to look into the documents for mapping purposes.