January 29, 2023

The National Commission on Indigenous People-Cordillera remains hopeful that a portion of the Bibak property along Harrison Road will soon be segregated to allow the office to implement its plans over the area.

NCIP Director Ronald Calde said the office remains positive the portion where the Benguet-Ifugao-Bontoc-Apayao-Kalinga, now called Bimaak Hall, stands would soon be ceded to the office.

“The technical working group (TWG) is discussing the use of the area. We are hoping that our plan for the establishment of a cultural center, museum training center, IP (indigenous peoples) center will materialize once the portion we are requesting is segregated,” Calde said.

The NCIP is a member of the TWG, which was formed when the city government evicted in 2017 the informal settlers that have been occupying the government lot for several decades. The other members of the TWG are the city government and the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources.

The NCIP is requesting a portion of the 5,000-square-meter lot be ceded to the office.The planned cultural center aims to accommodate cultural events or performances while the museum will house artifacts from the Cordillera provinces. 

The property was segregated from Original Certificate Title 1 in favor of the Bibak Dormitories, Inc. in the early 1960s, where students from the six Cordillera provinces who were pursuing their studies in Baguio were housed. – Jane B. Cadalig