BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the local government is not inclined to grant another extension on the June 30, 2017 deadline for the voluntary demolition of the illegal structures constructed by informal settlers within the 5,000-square meter Benguet-Ifugao-Bontoc-Apayao-Kalinga (BIBAK) lot along Harrison Road because it was the group that committed to voluntary remove their structures on or before the prescribed deadline.
The local chief executive said city officials do not want to lose their credibility by granting another extension on the self-imposed deadline for the voluntary demolition of the illegal structures within the property so the decision for removal of the illegal structures on the prescribed deadline remains.
He claimed he has no personal knowledge on the alleged endorsement made by former Rep. Nicasio M. Aliping, Jr. addressed to the central office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for a local businessman to develop the property, saying that such plan is not within the powers of the lawmaker.
Domogan explained that once the illegal structures are removed from the property, the agreed plan among the local chief executive and officials of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the DENR is to fence the property and subsequently work out a comprehensive master development plan.
Earlier, the informal settlers signed a notarized commitment assuring city officials that they will voluntarily demolish their illegal structures on the lot on or before June 30, 2017, and that the local government will demolish the remaining structures after the committed deadline.
He added officials of the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP) have been in close coordination with city officials and municipal officials of La Trinidad for the conversion of the identified relocation site for the informal settlers from agricultural to residential to allow for the preparation of the development and subdivision plans.
Further, he received a formal communication from the Housing Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) that the La Trinidad municipal government is empowered to approve the development and subdivision plans of the identified relocation site for the qualified informal settlers.
Domogan urged the informal settlers to comply with their signed and notarized commitment that they will voluntarily remove their illegal structures on or before their committed deadline so they relocate to the relocation site in La Trinidad.
The NCIP has been tasked by the Office of the President as the caretaker of the BIBAK property that is planned to house a dormitory for qualified Cordillerans.
Domogan asserted the BIBAK lot should serve the purpose for which it was apportioned by the DENR from Original Certificate of Title No. 1 that covers most portions of the area and its vicinity. /By Dexter A. See