BAGUIO CITY – Protecting and preserving the environment is one of the city’s thrust in order to make this mountain resort a better place to live in by the constituents and the next generations.
The Local Government Code of 1991, as amended, mandates every local government units to implement comprehensive and sustainable development practices to protect, conserve and mitigate ensuing environmental concerns of its natural resources.
Since that the natural environment is fragile and in need of special legal protections, acting city mayor, vice mayor Edison Bilog created the Safeguarded Lands Identification, Protection and Management Committee (SLIPMC) through administrative order no. 153.
City planning and development officer engr. Evelyn Cayat will lead the committee together with members: city assessor Maria Almaya Addawe, city environment and parks management office Cordelia Lacsamana, officer-in-charge city tourism officer Jose Maria Rivera, city legal officer atty. Melchor Carlos Rabanes, city general services officer in-charge Eugene Buyucan, concerned punong barangays where the identified safeguarded lands are located, three representatives from a city accredited environmental organization/civil society/non-government organization, professional urban environment planner, other individuals or agencies as may be determined by the committee that can assist in its effective performance of its duties.
Enumerated functions in the order of the SLIPMC include review the maps of safeguarded lands prepared by the CPDO for the approval of the city council; prepare concept and other required plans for safeguarded lands; request the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) to furnish the city information on Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title, Certificate of Ancestral Land Title, and Certificate of Ancestral Land Claim applications within Baguio as well as the Comprehensive Sustainable Ancestral Domain or Land Development Plan for the city to act appropriately.
The committee will also request the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on townsite sales applications, miscellaneous sales applications, free patents and special patents application within Baguio for the city to act appropriately on said applications.
They will identify buffer zones which need special development control to avoid or minimize harm to the safeguarded land areas; make guidelines for the protection and conservation of heritage sites including the giving of incentives to owners of heritage sites to encourage them to preserve their property and submit the same to the city council for approval; make reports to the city mayor and recommend amendment or revisions on all other ordinances or codes to give effect to the provisions of the environmental code. /Jho Arranz