February 23, 2024

■  Jane B. Cadalig 

Concerned sectors and parties interested in knowing the latest about and want to give their inputs on the new Baguio City charter and land issues in the city are encouraged to join a public forum on Jan. 16.

The city council, through the office of Councilor Jose Molintas, will hold a public consultation on the new revised city charter; the proposed law to strengthen the Bases Conversion Development Authority; and the proposed law declaring as alienable and disposable certain parcels of land of the public domain located in the city.

The consultation, set from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Baguio Convention and Cultural Center, aims to gather inputs on the measures.

The Revised City Charter, which lapsed into law in 2022, is being assailed, with Molintas saying he is ready to petition the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional.

Molintas has been vocal against the revised charter authored by Rep. Mark Go, saying it is unconstitutional due to lack of plebiscite, which he said is a must for proposed charters.

Also to be discussed in the consultation is House Bill 8505 or An Act Strengthening the Bases Conversation Development Authority.

The city council has earlier expressed reservations over the bill, which allows the government corporation to sell five percent of lands within BCDA-controlled economic zones, including the Camp John Hay economic zone, to potential residents.

Also to be presented during the consultation is HB 9428 or An act declaring as alienable and disposable certain parcels of land of the public domain located in the City of Baguio for disposition to actual and qualified applicants, excluding said lands from the coverage of Republic Act 7227 and Proclamation 420 s. 1994 which transferred John Hay Air Station to BCDA.

Updates on the implementation of Council Resolution 362-1994, which set the 19 conditions in the formulation of the master development plan for Camp John Hay will also be presented during the public forum.

One of the contentious issues is the segregation of 13 barangays within the CJH reservation.