March 4, 2024

Baguio City Rep. Mark Go on Oct. 26 filed House Bill 9428 that would seek to declare segregated parcels of land under the Camp John Hay reservation as alienable and disposable, allowing residents within the area to own titles to the occupied portions.

Go said Camp John Hay, a former military base of the United States, has been under the ownership and control of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) since the departure of U.S. forces.

Republic Act 7227 or the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 created the BCDA and placed former U.S. bases in the Philippines under the administration of the government-controlled corporation. In 1993, Proclamation 198 transferred the ownership, administration, and control over the John Hay Air Station covering an area of 570 hectares, more or less, to BCDA.  The property has since been converted for civilian use, with the BCDA administering its tourism, human resource development center, and multiple use forest watershed reservation purposes.

In 1994, the sangguniang panlungsod of Baguio passed Resolution 362, which outlined 19 conditionalities for the BCDA in developing its master plan for Camp John Hay, which included a demand to segregate barangays that overlap within the area turned over to the BCDA.

In 2001, the BCDA partially segregated certain portions of Barangay Scout Barrio to current and qualified occupants, declaring portions of the former military reservation as alienable and disposable so the residents can be issued with property titles.

However, some 12 barangays have yet to be segregated until now, which has led to tension among the residents that occupy the land, Go said.

He said he sought the approval of this bill “to finally put this impasse to rest and to give life to the intention of the representatives of the city for the segregation of the barangays included in the John Hay reservation.” – Press release