November 29, 2023

Busol and Buyog watersheds, two of the few remaining pinestands and sources of potable water in the city, continue to be under strict watch by the Baguio City Police Office against illegal constructions and illegal logging activities.
BCPO Police Station 2 Camdas Police Station personnel led by Cpt. George Juliano Jr. and Station Commander Maj. Wiltz Konrad Sally have been conducting regular foot patrol at the Buyog watershed, which straddles Pinget and West Quirino Hill barangays.
Busol at Ambiong and Pacdal, on the other hand, is guarded by BCPO Station 3 headed by PEMS Presley Goyo and other stations.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong earlier ordered the police to conduct regular patrol over Busol and Buyog watersheds to deter squatting, which continues to threaten what was left of the forest reservations, two of the few remaining sources of potable water for the city.
The mayor was especially concerned about the Buyog watershed of which forested area had decreased from 19 hectares to only seven hectares.
In 2021, the city government had an agreement with around 150 occupants and heads of the four barangays straddling the Busol reservation for them to cooperate with the city by refraining from introducing improvements or expansion of their existing structures, helping guard against further intrusions, and undertaking preservation measures for the watershed.
However, the mayor said a recent inspection of the site showed stark violation of the agreement as there were expansions undertaken and new structures that mushroomed.
The mayor was steadfast in his stance that while the city gives humanitarian consideration to the predicament of the occupants – many of whom are ancestral land claimants who claimed to be long-time settlers of the forest reserve – law and order must be respected. – Aileen Refuerzo and Jessa Mardy Samidan