June 21, 2024

Baguio Rep. Marquez Go and some members of the Baguio City Council said it is best to take to Congress the discussion on the 19 conditions imposed by the city government on the Bases Conversion and Development Authority in the formulation of the master development plan for Camp John Hay.

The proposed talk in Congress will zero in on the “degree of compliance” of the BCDA with the 19 conditions. 

Go promised to undertake legislative action to strengthen all local measures previously enacted by the city council regarding these 19 conditions. 

Go cited the resolutory portion of the affidavit of the BCDA’s meeting in 1996 which states that “the 19 conditionalities of the city council of Baguio as contained in Council Resolution 362, s. 1994 has been taken into consideration and to be complied with by the John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation through agreements and/or contracts.”

But the city government has yet to enter into a contract or an agreement with the BCDA, Go said.

Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan said executing a contract with the BCDA is necessary to ensure the 19 conditions are strictly complied with.

He added the BCDA had been reminded countless times by the city government to comply. However, such constant reminders seemed to have fallen on deaf ears, he claimed.

The vice mayor stressed a more assertive move needs to be undertaken to ensure full compliance.

Councilor Fred Bagbagen stressed the 19 conditions are non-negotiable.

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda said, “The first thing we should do is to find out whether these 19 conditions are incorporated in the master development plan of Camp John Hay. From there, we can come up with an ordinance or push for a contract, as stated in that affidavit.”

Several council resolutions had been passed directing the BCDA to submit to the city council a written status report on its compliance with the 19 conditions. However, the city council has yet to receive said document. 

One of these conditions not complied with is the segregation of the 13 barangays within the Camp John Hay Reservation. 

Other conditions that the city council would like to inquire about are on the housing programs of the BCDA for its employees and on the share of the city government in the gross income of the operations of the BCDA within the zone.

On March 21, the city council passed a resolution requesting President Rodrigo Duterte to veto the bill seeking to revise the charter of the City of Baguio. The bill lapsed into law when Duterte let the 30 days pass without signing or vetoing it. 

The city legislators called for the revision of the bill to address certain concerns raised during the previous council sessions. They argued the bill should be vetoed to give time for further study and to address these concerns. 

The city council earlier gave recommendations for the revision of certain provisions of the bill but several council members asserted these were ignored. One of the recommendations was the inclusion of a provision containing the 19 conditions.

During the meeting with the city council earlier that day, Go said separate legislations may be crafted or future actions may be undertaken to address some of the concerns raised by the councilors. – Jordan G. Habbiling