BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored the proposal of Senator Richard Gordon to allegedly forcibly move people out of the city is pleasing to the ear of advocates of the supposed closure and rehabilitation of the country’s undisputed Summer Capital but it is not actually doable.
The local chief executive pointed out that it is unfortunate that Quirino Hill is being used as an example of the alleged decongestion of the city when the same area, formerly known as the Carabao Mountain, served as a relocation site way back in the early 1960s.
Further, he explained that during the July 16, 199 killer earthquake, there were no structures in any part of the Carabao Mountain that were reported to have been heavily damaged unlike big structures in the different parts of the city which were constructed with the close supervision of experts.
“We do not need to resort to such drastic action to forcibly move the people out of the city because there will be some serious issues attached to it. It is pleasing to the ear of those ones who are not fully aware of the prevailing situation in the city but it is not actually doable,” Domogan stressed.
He claimed what is needed this time is sustained close coordination among concerned government agencies and the local government in terms of the strict implementation of existing rules and regulations governing the preservation and protection of the environment to ensure sufficient compliance to the prescribed easement of waterways and road-right-of-way.
According to him, natural and juridical persons who already possess titles over their private properties could not easily be booted out of their declared properties in the city but what can be done at this time is for the environment department to refrain from issuing titles over available alienable and disposable lands which could still be preserved and protected as part of the buffer zones of the city to maintain a decent state of its environment.
Domogan emphasized it has been the policy of the local government and concerned government agencies to closely work together in the strict implementation of existing rules and regulations governing the preservation and protection of the state of the environment for the benefit of the present and future inhabitants of the city.
He admitted it is the state of the environment of the city that helps in maintaining its cool weather that is a natural pull for people to flock to the country’s Summer capital and enjoy its temperate weather condition and one of the priority programs of the concerned government agencies and the local government is environmental preservation and protection to strike a balance between migration and development and the efforts to maintain a decent state of the city’s environment.
He asserted that the local government, in close coordination with the environment department, worked out the fencing of the Busol watershed, one of the biggest forest reservations in the city, and is now planning to fence the Camp 8 watershed to prevent the encroachments of informal settlers on the existing sources of water of thousands of residents living in the different barangays./Dexter See