Lot Claimants Undertake Voluntary Demolition at Busol
June 6, 2015
BAGUIO CITY – Owners of the illegal structures at the area designated for a tree nursery at the Busol watershed fulfilled their commitment to voluntarily demolish the shanties after the ten-day grace period granted to them by the City Government.
Engr. Israel Galvez of the city buildings and architecture office said the occupants said the occupants were the in the process of taking down the shanties as of last Thursday.
The City Government agreed to defer the implementation of the demolition for ten days after the occupants appealed for more time to consider voluntarily demolishing the structures.
The ten-day reprieve expired last Sunday.
The area has been designated as a tree nursery and field office of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, the Baguio Regreening Movement and the city environment and parks management office.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan said that with the resolution of the legal issues involving the squatters at the watershed, the City will pursue the demolition of all illegal structures to protect the reservation which supplies a third of the city’s water needs.
Apart from the nursery site, demolition notices will be issued to the owners of the small and large structures in the other parts of the watershed.
He also directed the investigation of alleged new structures and the filing of new cases against those who will continue to defy the law.
The Supreme Court issued a decision in 1989 denying land registration over the forest reservation maintaining that “forest lands are inalienable and possession thereof, no matter how long, cannot convert the same into private property… and the courts are without jurisdiction to adjudicate lands within the forest zone.”
In a decision dated Feb. 4, 2009, the Supreme Court cited the same decision saying the “declaration of the Busol Forest Reservation as such precludes its conversion into private property” and reiterated the same in succeeding decisions dated Feb. 27, 2013 and Feb. 14, 2014./A Refuerzo