SP probes encroachment in city’s ancestral domain

SP probes encroachment in city’s ancestral domain
Rojean Grace Patumbon/SunStar Photo

A DAVAO City Council member stated that they are still investigating the encroachers at Sitio Kalatung, Barangay Tawantawan, Baguio District, Davao City, to determine which settlers have titles and which are illegal.

First District Councilor Temujin “Tek” Ocampo said during the Aprubado sa Konseho Media Forum on Tuesday morning, May 14, 2024, at the Sanguniang Panlungsod that they need to be cautious when relocating the encroachers since some hold legitimate titles to their lands, and the city government will not act against them.

“Katung mga illegal settlers ug migrants katung wala niagi ug informed consent sa mga IPs [Indigenous People] unya wala niagi ug the natural ug legal process of to buy an area (Illegal settlers and migrants who did not obtain informed consent from the Indigenous People (IPs) and did not follow the legal process of purchasing land are being investigated),” he said. “Pero katung mga illegal nga nagkuan mao gyud na atong susihon (But those illegal encroachers there, we will investigate them).” 

Ocampo, who chairs the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, said that some encroachers are from Matina Aplaya, Davao City. Some were even promised to acquire at least three hectares of land, and signs were put up claiming “private property” when the owner only got rights to the land.  

The councilor noted that the IP community has tagged numerous houses in the area. 

However, when asked about the names of the encroachers, Ocampo said they could not reveal this information or the number of hectares these illegal settlers own because the Local Government Unit (LGU) is in the process of filing a case against them.

He added that there is no need for the push by the Davao City-based environment group Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (Idis) to turn the area into a no-touch zone to protect the nearby Panigan-Tamugan watershed, which is the source of the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project (DCBWDP).

He added that a Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) is already in place, and the Panigan-Tamugan Watershed Ordinance is in its final draft. Many policies protect the area; the LGU only needs to implement them.

It can be recalled that Idis, Bantay Bukid volunteers, Public Safety and Security Office (PSSO), and Ocampo conducted a joint expedition in Sitio Kalatung due to the reported increasing number of migrants in the area, which poses a threat to the DCBWDP source. RGP

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