March 5, 2024

The heightened patrolling of Busol and Buyog watersheds, two of the few remaining pine stands and sources of potable water in Baguio City, led to the discovery of 10 ongoing illegal constructions in the past three weeks and these are now the subject of demolition proceedings.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong has directed the Anti-Squatting and Anti-Illegal Structure Committee (ASAISC) to expedite the demolition process based on the established procedures for constructions that are built or being built on safeguarded lands like watersheds and forest reservations.
The committee said demolition orders are being prepared to remove the structures.
Engr. Angel Nerveza of the City Buildings and Architecture Office Investigations Division said eight structures were discovered at the Busol watershed by patrol teams of the Baguio City Police Office Station 6 under Maj. Rommel Quinio.
Two illegal structures were chanced upon last April 16 while patrolling the center of the watershed, another illegal settlement was spotted at the Ambiong side of the watershed on April 17, and still another improvement was reported also on April 17.
Nerveza said four more structures were discovered later at the watershed owned by just two persons. These will also be issued demolition orders.
These were all immediately issued first and final notice of violation with a directive to voluntarily demolish within 72 hours. Hearings were conducted with the owners, the City Environment and Parks Management Office, and the barangay concerned.
The Baguio City side of Busol straddles Ambiong and Pacdal barangays.
In Buyog, which spans Pinget and West Quirino Hill barangays, two large constructions were also discovered and owners were issued first and final notice of violation last April 19.
Magalong earlier ordered the police to conduct regular patrol over Busol and Buyog watersheds as a deterrent against squatting which continues to threaten what was left of the forest reservations.
This is part of the city’s intensified campaign against illegal constructions, both ongoing and existing all over the city.
The CBAO said ongoing constructions found in safeguarded areas are immediately endorsed for demolition while those found in private lots are issued cease and desist orders with the owners directed to first secure building permits and other requirements. – Aileen P. Refuerzo