BAGUIO CITY – The city council approved the position paper of 14 punong barangays within the 686-hectare Camp John Hay (CJH) reservation reiterating to the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) to recognize the 19 conditions imposed by the city government for the development of the former American military base, particularly condition No. 14 that warrants the segregation of the 14 barangays within the reservation and for the subsequent award of occupied areas to qualified homelot applicants.
The concerned punong barangays of Greenwater Village, Military Cut-off, Santa Escolastika, Hillside, Gabriela Silang, Upper Dagsian, Lower Dagsian, Scout Barrio, Loakan Proper, Loakan Liwanag, Camp 7, Loakan Apugan, Happy Hallow, Lucnab, and Baguio Country Club Village were constrained to come up with a position paper reminding BCDA of its commitment to segregate the 14 barangays from the CJH reservation following repeated pronouncements from BCDA officials that they no longer recognize the 19 conditions imposed by the city government prior to the introduction of development within the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone.
The punong barangays claimed the refusal of the present BCDA officials to recognize the 19 conditions which were previously upheld by their predecessors just shows their dictatorial tendencies which is no longer in consonance with the Aquino administration’s transparent and accountable governance.
According to them, there is still a long way to go for the complete realization of the barangay segregation process and BCDA’s actuations illustrate the tendencies of the incumbent officials to change the rules at the middle of the game which is not in conformity with what was approved and done in the past.
With barely 13 months left in the Aquino administration, the barangay officials claimed the barangay segregation project is again a failed program of BCDA contrary to what its incumbent officials committed that it will be fastracked and achieved during the term of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III.
Resolution No. 362, series of 1994 was approved by the City Council which outlines the 19 conditions that must be strictly observed by the BCDA and the winning developer for the privatization of CJH prior to the introduction of large-scale development in order to convert the area into a multi-use watershed and world-class tourism center.
The punong barangays called on BCDA officials to spare the affected barangays from its misunderstanding with city officials and the developer since BCDA has the inherent power to fulfil its long standing commitment of segregating the barangays from the reservation that will eventually result to the awarding of the occupied areas to the qualified homelot applicants in order for the people to achieve their objective of owning the lands that they were able to occupy over the past several decades.
Scout Barrio was the only barangay that was officially segregated from the CJH reservation in 2002 but the same was never followed by other barangays because of the failure of BCDA to comply with its commitments for the segregation of the barangays as enshrined in the 19 conditions imposed for the development of the former American rest and recreation center in the north. By Dexter A. See