Issue of May 24, 2015
Mt. Province

Courier Anniversary Issue
Other Links:
Watershed lot claimants given 10–day reprieve to vacate
by Aileen P. Refuerzo

The city government gave owners of the illegal shanties built at the area designated for tree nursery at the Busol Watershed a 10-day reprieve after the occupants appealed for more time to consider voluntarily demolishing the structures.

Ancestral land claimant Lucia Ampaguey last May 21 signed an undertaking asking the mayor to defer implementation of the demolition order for 10 days to allow them to discuss their next action.

“We understand that if we fail to undertake the demolition by ourselves, the demolition team will do their job (of removing our structures),” Ampaguey noted in the letter she signed in the presence of City Building Official Nazita Bañez, forester Walter Aguirre, City Police Director Rolando Miranda, and the other occupants.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan expressed relief and hope that the claimants will fulfill their commitment so that there will be no more hitches in the removal of the structures.

The area will be used as a tree nursery and field office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Baguio Regreening Movement and the City Environment and Parks Management Office.

The city last May 7 was set to undertake the dismantling operation of the five shanties but held back after the occupants barricaded the area.

The mayor however notified the owners that the city will pursue the demolition anytime in collaboration with the concerned law enforcement agencies even as he appealed to them to cooperate to avoid criminal charges.

Earlier, the mayor turned down the request of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to defer implementation of the demolition of the shanties saying the structures are built within the city’s main watershed and their owners’ lot claims have been denied with finality by the courts.

“Much to our regret we cannot grant your request for it has no legal basis and we have to proceed with the intended demolition. Please understand that it is the need for adequate water supply and ecological balance that compels the city government of Baguio, the Baguio Water District, the DENR and the BRM to do all necessary acts allowed under the law to preserve the Busol Forest Reserve including but not limited to the clearing or demolition of illegal structures therein,” Mayor Mauricio Domogan said in a letter to NCIP Chair Leonor Quintayo.

Quintayo last May 7 asked the mayor to postpone the demolition scheduled that day “to give the Commission the time to investigate and validate” the petition for recognition of ancestral land claim of Ampaguey.

The mayor said the claim of Ampaguey “had been repeatedly denied with finality” by the courts. He cited the Supreme Court decision in 1989 denying land registration over the forest reservation maintaining that “forest lands are inalienable and possession thereof, no matter how long, cannot convert the same into private property and the courts are without jurisdiction to adjudicate lands within the forest zone.”

The mayor also underscored the need to protect the watershed which supplies 35 percent of the water needs of the city from the squatters.

“At present drinking water is our number one problem.  You can just imagine what will happen to us if our watershed will be fully squatted upon or denuded.  Hence, apart from enforcing the law within our jurisdiction, the city has to protect the area to ensure adequate water supply and to preserve the ecological balance in the City,” the mayor said.

Custom Search

Other news
:: House debates bill on total mining ban in Benguet town
:: Verdict on Bakun–Sugpon boundary row overturned
:: BCDA says CA misinformed in issuing TRO
:: Lawyer bares bulk of cases vs teachers involve debts
:: Unified action by agencies awaited for Mt Sto Tomas

Baguio Central University
Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company
MMS Development Training Center Corporation
Pines City Colleges
SM City Baguio
Technical Education & Skills Development Authority
University of Baguio

Abanao Square
Brent International School
Data Center College of the Philippines
Gov. Leonard G. Mayaen
Interlink Security Management Corp.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan
Medline International Training Institute of Baguio
Pag-IBIG Fund
Philex Mining Corporation
Pines City Colleges
Pugad Pugo Adventure
Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan
SN Aboitiz
Texas Instruments
UP Baguio

Assumption Medical Diagnostic Center, Inc.
Baguio City Council
Baguio Memorial Chapels, Inc.
Baguio Water District
BSBT College
Curamed Pharmacy
Department of Agrarian Reform - CAR
Department of Agriculture–RFO–CAR
Department of Public Works and Highways - CAR
Department of Trade and Industry – CAR
Fabulo Beauty & Image Salon
Far East Pacific Commercial
Filipino – Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc.
Forest House
GMS Technology
Goshen Land
Governor Nestor B. Fongwan
Healthforce1 Nursing Review Center
Heidelberg Philippines, Inc.
Hotel Elizabeth
Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc.
Kalapaw Restaurant
Maybank - Baguio Branch
Mayor Greg T. Abalos Jr.
Nagomi Spa
National Police Commission - Philippine National Police - Police Regional Office - CAR
NIIT – Baguio
Nova Lodge
Philippine Women’s University – CDCEC Baguio City, Inc.
Philippines Science High School – CAR
Rep. Bernardo Vergara
Rep. Maximo Dalog
Sangguniang Panlalawigan
Small World Christian School Foundation
The Golden Pine Hotel
VTA International Realty Corporation
Home | About Us | Editorial Policy | Contact Us
News | Opinion | Snapshots | Week's Mail | Obituaries
Copyright © 2007. All Rights Reserved.