Baguio secures titles over portions of Burnham Park
Portions of Burnham Park are now covered by a title in the name of the city government of Baguio.
In the March 8 session of the city council, General Services Officer Eugene Buyucan said the recently titled area is referred to as Burnham Lot 1 with a total area of 182,045 square meters. The lot covers the picnic grove, skating rink, the parking area fronting Tiong San Harrison, City Environment and Parks Management extension office, City Library, Burnham Lake, Children’s Park, Orchidarium, bicycle area, rose garden, Melvin Jones grandstand, food stalls, Igorot Garden, and Ibaloy Heritage Garden.
The said Original Certificate of Title 2023000017 was finally issued on March 3.
After successfully acquiring a title for Burnham Lot 1, the city government is now pursuing the titling of Burnham Park Lot 6 which covers portions of the public swimming pool and Lions Club and Pine Trees of the World with an area of 10,021 square meters.
These land titling initiatives were started by the former administration under then mayor Mauricio Domogan and are being completed by the current administration.
Burnham Park is covered by Proclamation 64, s. 1925 which established the Burnham Park Reservation.
The city government has been the administrator of Burnham Park since Feb. 10, 1995 pursuant to Executive Order 244 issued by then President Fidel Ramos.
Prior to this, the park was under the care of the Philippine Tourism Authority. The full control and further development of the same was finally transferred to the city government on Jan. 10, 2008 when then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued EO 695.
Some members of the city council lauded the efforts of the executive department in titling Burnham Park in the name of the city government.
However, questions whether this move was legal were raised during the council forum on March 8.
Councilor Mylen Yaranon asked whether a Presidential proclamation can be canceled by the issuance of a land title, claiming that OCT 1 which was issued in 1910 and also covers certain portions of Burnham Park was being questioned during the term of his late father, then mayor Braulio Yaranon.
Buyuccan said OCT 1 which was issued in 1910 does not supersede Proclamation 64 which was issued in 1925 since the former precedes the latter.
He added the acquisition of a title over areas within Burnham Park does not intend to cancel Proclamation 64, s. 1925 as the proclamation identifies the use of an area while a title indicates who owns it.
The city council approved the first annual supplemental investment program for 2023 in the amount of P250M which includes a proposed additional P2M for the titling of other areas in Burnham Park and other areas outside the park that are being used by the city government. – Jordan G. Habbiling