September 30, 2023

The city council has called on the Philippine Military Academy to defer the ongoing fencing of its perimeters, until such time that the concerns of residents affected by the project have been resolved.

In a resolution, the council asked PMA to stop its ongoing perimeter fencing project that adversely affects 150 families at Purok Ongasan, Loakan.

The move came after Rey Calaycay who represents the Bontoc Organization of Purok Ongasan Loakan, Inc., sought the council’s assistance in asking PMA to put off its perimeter fencing that will block residents from going in and out of their homes and will eventually displace them.

PMA representatives were invited in the Oct. 4 council session, but no one appeared.

Councilor Fred Bagbagen moved that the city council reiterate its 2020 resolution that approved segregation survey of the area occupied by the organization from the coverage of Proclamation 2405 s. 1985 that declared portions of land at Fort Del Pilar as a military reservation.

Calaycay said the 150 families who are affected by PMA’s fencing project have been occupying their lots even before Proclamation 2405 was issued.

“Our forefathers have been occupying the areas prior to World War II and prior to (the establishment of) PMA. We continue to be in actual possession of the land and we hope to finally have our land segregated for titling,” Calaycay said.

“The fencing of PMA has reached our backyards and the contractor said they will continue with the project, despite our pleas for them to stop. This is why we are asking the help of the city council.”

Bagbagen said the council must act on the residents’ request.

He reiterated the pre-proclamation committee chaired by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council has recommended in 2017 the conduct of a segregation survey covering the areas occupied by the Loakan residents.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has granted an authority for the conduct of a segregation survey over the area and the Land Management Services prepared and issued the segregation plan over the area. 

In 2020, the city council passed a resolution approving the segregation survey.

PMA representatives were again invited to the council’s next session to air their side. – Jane B. Cadalig with reports from Jordan Habbiling