December 5, 2022

The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera continues to assert its right over the Baguio Breeding and Animal Research Center as the agency is working with its legal team in the central office and the Office of the Solicitor General for the filing of charges against parties that recently intruded into the fenced property.
DA-Cordillera Executive Director Cameron Odsey said those who have claims over the 94-hectare property should go to court and challenge Proclamation 603 issued by President Manuel Luis Quezon reserving BABRC as animal breeding center, instead of harassing employees of the agency and security guards who are dep-loyed at the area.
“Our position in the DA is we have been in physical possession since 1940. If there are claimants, they should go to court,” Odsey said.
To come up with a solid case, the DA has been, even before the latest intrusion, validating the titles and derivative titles issued over the area. “Some titles are not legible so our legal team had to check the masterlist of the Land Registration Authority,” Odsey said.
In the meantime, Police Regional Office-Cordillera Director Ronald Oliver Lee has committed to deploy 14 policemen who will work in two shifts each as additional security in the BABRC.
The BABRC is being used by the DA as research, training and technology demonstration center, laboratory, agri-tourism and dairy center, and animal breeding center.
It is also a research area for various projects such as for the production of rabbit, lisianthus, vermiculture and vermicomposting, collection of anthurium and herbs adaptable in areas with high elevation, apiculture, and coffee farming integrated with anthurium and other forest trees, demo farm for mushroom production, sheep and goat center, Philippine native animal development, production of forage planting materials, and lemon tree production, among others.
The Cordillera Integrated Agriculture Research Center, Integrated Laboratory Division, Regional Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory, National Meat Inspection Service, National Dairy Authority, Animal Feeds Laboratory, and Mountain High Dairy Cooperative are all located at the BABRC.
For decades, several groups and individuals have been claiming a portion or the entire BABRC reservation. The recent intrusions were in May and June where two groups of claimants hired private security guards and even threatened personnel of the DA at the site.
The DA informed police and officials of Baguio about the incident and the police personnel were immediately dispatched at the site. The Baguio City Police Office also found out the security agency tapped by a claimant from Mindanao has no license to operate in Baguio. Personnel of the security agency have since left.
Aside from beefing up security at the BABRC, Odsey said the DA and PRO-Cor will soon sign a memorandum of agreement where as stewards, they will plant trees as part of the continuing regreening of the site.
The DA also released an advisory informing the public to verify first with the agency or the Department of Environment and Natural Resources if lots being sold to them are within the BABRC reservation. – Rimaliza A. Opiña