July 22, 2024

The city council is appealing to the Bases Conversion and Development and John Hay Management Corp. to allow the construction of a P20 million farm-to-market road project in Barangay Happy Hallow, which is located within a disputed property.
The FMR project is funded by the Department of Agriculture with the Department of Public Works and Highways-Baguio City District Engineering Office as the implementing agency.
The road will benefit residents in the area who are engaged in livestock and crop production and the public using the road as a main passageway.
It is supposed to be implemented within the year, but has yet to commence because the BCDA-JHMC has prevented the DPWH to enter the premises, citing it is located within its property and residents built an illegal road opening and structures that apparently caused erosion and endangered lives and property.
The area, which is covered by a certificate of ancestral land domain, is also a subject of a case at the Supreme Court.
DPWH-BCDEO head Rene Zarate said if not used within the year, the fund for the FMR project has to be returned to the national treasury.
Engr. Filemon Salvador of the DA-Cordillera said the area qualified to have an FMR based on the number of residents engaged in farming activities.
The city council has appealed to the BCDA and JHMC to allow the use of the road as an FMR.
Councilor Benny Bomogao has suggested to BCDA-JHMC the project could proceed pending the resolution of the issue on who is the rightful owner of the property because it could be appropriate either way once the court makes a decision.
Other councilors also asked BCDA to allow the FMR construction as part of its corporate social responsibility since its intentions will help provide livelihood and for general welfare.
BCDA representative Atty. Christian Duldulao and Engr. Ferdinand Figuerres of JHMC said they will refer the council’s appeal on behalf of the Happy Hallow residents to their central offices. – Hanna C. Lacsamana