‘Win-win Solution’ Meet Sought to Resolve John Hay Impasse
Volume XVII NO. 50 October 4, 2014
BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan should call for a high-level meeting among all stakeholders at Camp John Hay to achieve a “win-win solution” to the various issues between the John Hay management bodies and the city government and the barangays, the city council decided on Monday.
Councilor Faustino Olowan suggested the mayor-convened dialogue instead of just inviting the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) headed by president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova and John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC) under president and chief executive officer Jamie Eloise Agbayani to the body to clarify the issues.
“If we get our acts together, I believe that we will find a solution to these problems in the end,” Olowan said.
The body earlier invited Casanova and Agbayani to give an update on their compliance with the 19 conditionalities under Resolution No. 362 series of 1994 and to clarify Paciano’s claims against the city government in a published statement recently but as in the past, they begged off.
Instead as a prelude to the dialogue, the body decided to hear the grievances of the heads of the barangays located in the Camp John Hay reservation and a representative of the Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo).
Punong barangay Magdalena Lambac of Greenwater Village said JHMC’s move to apply for water rights over their water source is appalling and saddening.
“They did not only comply with the segregation of our barangay now they also want to get our water source,” she lamented.
Punong barangay Ferdinance Bucad of Hillside said they feel “oppressed and harassed” by BCDA and JHMC’s actuations which he said they did not experience during the time when the Americans were still occupying the former military facility.
“During that time, the barangays were treated as partners and allies but now the BCDA and JHMC who are supposed to be our guardians and supporters are the ones oppressing and harassing us. They are not pro-community,” he said.
He said JHMC and BCDA should stop “grabbing” their water sources and displaying their big group of security men that cause alarm and terror in their peaceful community.
“I just hope we could resolve all these issues in a peaceful manner,” he said.
Punong barangay Soriano Palunan of Happy Hallow barangay decried BCDA and JHMC’s continued opposition to their application for ancestral domain title which he said even the city recognizes.
CJHDevCo property management officer Zaldy Masarate said they will join the city and the barangays in opposing JHMC’s water rights application especially if it covers the same water sources that were granted to them in the past.
He said at present CJHDevCo has water rights over four water sources within their leased area.
The city council suggested to the mayor that the following agencies be invited during the meeting with the stakeholders: the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dept. of Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, Department of Public Works and Highways, Baguio Water District, the National Housing Authority and Housing Land Use and Regulatory Board and others./A Refuerzo