May 20, 2024

The city council has approved Resolution 476, s. 2023 directing the issuance of construction, building and/or fencing permits to owners of lands covered by a certificate of ancestral land title and certificate of ancestral domain title pursuant to Republic Act 8371, or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 as cited and concurred in Legal Opinion 34, s. 2022 of the Department of Justice.
The unanimous resolution penned by Councilor Maximo Edwin Jr. is directed to the City Buildings and Architecture Office, which is responsible for implementing Presidential Decree 1096, or the National Building Code of the Philippines, which requires a land title in acquiring a building permit.
In the resolution, the council pointed out that requests and applications of CALT and CADT holders for issuance of their building or fencing permits from CBAO are still pending for more than a decade despite DOJ’s legal opinion dated Dec. 15, 2022, on the issue of whether or not a building permit may be issued on structures built on parcels of land covered by a CADT or CALT and its derivative titles that were not nullified by a court order.
In the legal opinion, “a building permit may be issued on structures built on parcels of land covered by CADT or CALT which were not nullified through a judicial proceeding.”
“Since the CADT and CALT are considered as recognition of ownership, it may be submitted with the Building Official, in lieu of the original certificate of title or transfer certificate of title, for the purpose of procuring a building permit. The spirit rather than the letter of the law determines its construction; hence, a statute, as in this case must be read according to its spirit and intent.”
The legal opinion further says that “it is worthy to note that indigenous peoples possess and occupy ancestral domains and lands of their ancestors, communally or individually since time immemorial. In fact, in the IPRA, among the declared State policies, the State shall protect the rights of the ICCs/IPs to their ancestral domains to ensure their economic, social, and cultural well-being. It shall recognize the applicability of customary laws governing property rights or relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domain. This avowed policy of the law covers the right of the indigenous peoples to build structures on their land.”
Furthermore, the resolution enumerated persons who may secure permits pursuant to Chapter 3, Sections 8 and 9 of RA 8371 on the rights of the IPs to their ancestral lands and ancestral domains’ CALT and/or CADT which are not canceled nor revoked by the courts.
They are the landowners, their beneficiaries, family members, and heirs only; duly authorized government institutions, organizations, or entities in partnership with landowners, through appropriate deed or document allowing usufruct and or transfer of rights; and private entities or institutions in collaboration with the appropriate government agencies and land owners, by way of agreement for the usufruct and or development of ancestral lands, on behalf of the latter.
The resolution further directed the Registry of Deeds of Baguio Cityto acknowledge and give due respect to the validity of CALT and CADT, with the same degree and manner, that the DOJ accords other titles under the Torrens System, all title being of equal weight and standing, and for the ROD to continue to utilize its judicial forms for CALT.
Through Resolution 477, s. 2023, the city council urged the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Cordillera en banc to immediately come up with guidelines on the registration of transfer certificates of titles or derivative titles emanating from CALTs covered by a memorandum of agreement between the Land Registration Authority and the NCIP.
In their MOA dated Aug. 28, 2002, LRA and NCIP agreed to set guidelines on treating exemption of CADTs from payment of the contribution to the assurance fund; registration of CADTs embracing ancestral domains straddling more than one province or city; CADTs overlapping titled properties; and CALTs overlapping titled properties.
In Resolution 478, s. 2023, all barangay nutrition committees are enjoined to organize and ensure the functionality of breastfeeding support groups in all barangays in Baguio.
This is to prevent infant and young child deaths through the most cost-effective measure of breastfeeding according to a panel of global experts convened by the World Health Organization.
The task is aligned with the Sustainable Development Agenda on ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2023, including achieving by 2025 the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under five years of age and addressing the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women, and older persons.
The breastfeeding support group will counsel mothers on breastfeeding and complementary feeding; conduct home visits; report mothers who sustained and were converted to practicing exclusive breastfeeding; and coordinate with health facilities to identify mothers who have given birth and who will sustain breastfeeding after discharge from the hospital or other health facility.
The group will also observe the enforcement of the Milk Code by reporting the violators/violations to the barangay center health worker; recruit other volunteers; refer mothers/infants and young children needing clinical management/treatment; attend meetings of breastfeeding support group; and support involvement to infant and young child feeding advocacy activities.
Through Resolution 479, s. 2023, the city council sent a message of condolences of the officialdom and constituency of the City of Baguio to the bereaved family of the late lineman Jessie Balacdao, Jr. of the Benguet Electric Cooperative who died in the performance of duty during the onslaught of Typhoon Egay on July 25.
The joint resolution stated Balacdao had exemplified the true essence of courage, dedication, and selflessness in the service to the people of Baguio and Benguet and acknowledged his commitment to ensuring a reliable power supply, especially during challenging weather conditions and emergencies that made a lasting difference in the lives of countless people.
“Jessie will be remembered for his exemplary professional skills, selflessness, and his willingness to work tirelessly in the face of danger and adversity. He displayed exceptional technical expertise and genuine care for the well-being of others, and he was also a shining example of professionalism, integrity, and unwavering devotion to responsibilities,” reads the resolution.