Issue of September 6, 2009
Mt. Province
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Mayor says city will petition OSG over Forbes Park titles
by Harley Palangchao with reports from Aileen Refuerzo

The city government will definitely file necessary petitions before the Office of the Solicitor General (Solgen) in line with its bid to reclaim parcels of lots within the Forbes Park forest reservation that were issued Certificates of Ancestral Land Title (CALTs). 

This was assured Wednesday afternoon by mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr. following his meeting with National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) chair Eugenio Insigne relative to the issue on ancestral land claims in the Busol watershed. 

Bautista said in an interview the petition will request the Solgen to cancel or nullify the CALTs issued within the coverage of the Forbes Park, one of the remaining critical forest reservations within Baguio. 

The mayor said the move by the city has the full backing of the members of the city council, which earlier adopted the recommendation of a committee for the city to assert claims over the parcels of land covered by Original Certificate of Titles O-CALT-26, O-CALT-27, O-CALT 28, and O-CALT-29 within said reservation and directing the City Legal Office to cause the annotation of the said adverse claim. 

It was also two months ago that the city council also approved the recommendation of the committee  to ask the Solgen to file the appropriate cases for the recovery of those portions of Forbes Forest Reservations which were taken and included in O-CALT-26, O-CALT-27, O-CALT-28, and O-CALT-29. 

Reports have it that documents obtained by some city officials revealed pending applications for CALTs complete with the names of the applicants and numbering around 140 waiting for action by the NCIP.

Some of the other recommendations adopted by the city council was the planned request to President Gloria Arroyo through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to turn over or proclaim in favor of the City of Baguio the remaining portions of Forbes Forest Reservation for watershed/forest purposes illegible from future conversion or reclassification.

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