BAGUIO CITY – The city government has convinced the agriculture department to increase to over 1 hectares the portion of the 94-hectare Baguio Dairy Farm that was previously ceded to the city through a deed of usufruct signed between former Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan and erstwhile Agriculture secretary and now Mindanao Development Authority (MINDA) chairman Emmanuel Piñol.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said that he personally talked with Agriculture Secretary William Dar for the possible expansion of the earlier ceded portion of the Baguio Dairy Farm to at least 10 hectares or 2 hectares more than the one that was previously ceded to the city.
He added that he got the commitment of the Agriculture Secretary that favoured such request to be able to accommodate the big ticket projects of the city government that will be implemented in the said area.
The city chief executive informed members of the City Advisory Committee that credit should be given to former Mayor Domogan for having worked out the ceding of the 8.2-hectare portion of the Baguio Dairy Farm to the city government which will be used for its priority development projects, specifically the put up of the south-bound terminal among other major required development projects of the city in the future to cope with the growth in the population due to rapid migration.
According to him, the area will serve as the site for the proposed waste-to-energy plant that is expected to occupy close to 3 hectares, the site of the south-bound terminal that is expected to occupy some 4 hectares while the remaining land area will host the other expansion requirements of the local government among other purposes.
The city mayor claimed the city government will work out the demolition of the illegal structures erected by informal settlers in the area ceded to the city with an offer that the affected informal settlers will be absorbed as workers by the companies interested to pursue the big ticket projects in the city which is expected to start next year.
It can be recalled that the informal settlers were driven out of the area by virtue of a court order several years ago but they reportedly rebuilt their illegal structures in the area a few months prior to the conduct of the May 2019 mid-term elections.
Magalong claimed that the increase of the land area that was ceded to the city will help accommodate the land area required by the proposed waste-to-energy plant to address the garbage disposal problems of the city and for the city government to earn from the sale of the generated renewable energy to the interested buyers, like the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO).
He emphasized the city government is inclined to pursue the implementation of its programmed big ticket projects to help achieve the overall objective of the present administration to have a better Baguio after 3 years.
Among the present administration’s 15-point collective agenda related to the aforesaid plans and programs of the city include the revitalized environment, aggressive traffic management, innovative peace and order campaign and effective disaster risk reduction and management.
By Dexter A. See