June 22, 2024

The Philippine Military Academy will maintain the status quo at Purok Ongasan, Loakan Proper barangay due to an ongoing land dispute.
In a meeting conducted by the city council’s committee on urban planning, lands, and housing, PMA and the Bontoc Organization of Purok Ongasan Loakan, Inc. (Bopoli) agreed to maintain status quo in the area. 
In view of this development, the city council approved the committee’s recommendation that status quo be maintained pending the resolution of the land dispute.
It may be remembered the Bopoli members, in 2021, sought the help of the City Government of Baguio regarding the plan of the PMA to construct a perimeter fence which they claimed would enclose the lot they are currently occupying. 
The construction of the perimeter fence is funded by the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of National Defense.
A fencing permit was earlier issued by the chief engineer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who serves as the building official authorized by the DPWH to issue fencing and building permits for structures within military reservations in the country.
The lot occupied by Bopoli members is part of the area covered by Proclamation 2405, s. 1985, which declared certain portions of land of the public domain situated at Fort Gregorio del Pilar as a military reservation subject to private rights, if any. 
The reservation covers 3,731,399 square meters whereas the residential lot covers 29,631 square meters. 
The Bopoli members claimed the area had been occupied by their forefathers since World War II and prior to the establishment of PMA. 
Several years back, the Bopoli requested for a segregation survey of the parcel of land. 
In 2017, the Pre-Proclamation Committee chaired by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council favorably recommended the segregation of the lot and the issuance of a presidential proclamation covering the lot for housing purposes. 
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera granted a survey authority for a segregation survey over the area.
A segregation plan for the area was prepared and issued by the Land Management Services of the DENR-Cordillera. 
In 2020, the city council passed a resolution approving the segregation survey.
The Bopoli members asserted the land they are occupying needs to be segregated from the operations of Proclamation 2405 so that they can proceed with the processing of their titles.
However, for the lot to be segregated, a certificate of no objection has to be issued by the DND.
Unfortunately for the residents, the DND had expressed its objection and rejected all requests for segregation by claimants within the military reservation. – Jordan G. Habbiling