February 23, 2024

City Councilor Jose Molintas is poised to ask President Ferdinand Marcos to interfere and help Baguio in its resolve to have the remaining barangays be segregated from the Camp John Hay Reservation.

Molintas said he will recommend to the council to consider this option in relation to House Bill 9428 filed by Rep. Mark Go, which sought to segregate 12 barangays from the CJH reservation.

He said this is because the bill does not satisfy what the city wants for the unsegregated barangays.

“We will inform the congressman about the objection of the barangays against his bill when he held the public consultation on Jan. 16,” Molintas said.

The committee on laws has been requested to make a report about the consultation and also include as one of the recommendations for the council to appeal directly to the President to act on the plea of the 12 barangays to be excluded from the coverage of the CJH reservation, since Go seemed to be filing bills that tend to benefit the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

HB 9428 sought to segregate parcels of land from the CJH reservation to be declared as an alienable and disposable.

Molintas however said the bill is more advantageous to the BCDA, not the city.

“The way we read the bill, he seems to be giving more power to BCDA,” Molintas said.

During the consultation on Jan. 16, the councilors who called for the forum said the bill does not segregate the barangays as understood in the context of the 19 conditions, but only empowers BCDA to reclassify these areas into alienable and disposable lands and it will the agency, which will collect the proceeds of the sale.

Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan said the council has to study first if it can use as a remedy a request for the Office of the President to interfere and cause the segregation of the remaining barangays within John Hay.

Olowan said the segregation of Scout Barrio, although it is not perfect was also through the intervention of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda suggested the concerned committee to simply forward to Go’s office the transcript of the Jan. 16 consultation to guide the lawmaker on his next move.

HB 9428 is supposed to address the concern raised by the city council that the revised city charter should have explicitly provided for the segregation of the 12 barangays from the CJH reservation. – Jane B. Cadalig