Composite team formed to demolish 400 Dairy Farm squatters

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BAGUIO CITY  – The city government of Baguio and the Tuba municipal government are inclined to issue a joint administrative order for the creation of a composite team that will work out the ground works to pave the way for the demolition of over 400 squatters that were earlier pinpointed to have illegally built their structures within the Baguio Dairy Farm covering the two local governments.

In a recent meeting here, it was agreed by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan and representatives from the Tuba municipal government that it will be the Cordillera office of the Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR) that will head the composite team purposely to facilitate the immediate demolition of the illegal structures within the declared government property.

The team will be composed of representatives from the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), Tuba municipal police station, city building and architecture office (CBAO) city engineer’s office, Public Order and Safety Division (POSD), Tuba municipal engineer’s office, Baguio City District Engineering Office and First Benguet Engineering District, both of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Domogan cited the composite team will conduct validation proceedings on an earlier report that more than 400 illegal structures have been erected within the Baguio Dairy Farm property which is under the jurisdiction of the DA-CAR so that the city government and the Tuba municipal government will have the basis to issue the required demolition orders in order to demolish the structures and prevent the mushrooming if squatters within the government property.

The members of the composite team will be conducting the needed routine inspection if the Baguio Dairy Farm property to inventory the illegal structures which will be subsequently issued the necessary demolition orders by the two local chief executives for their simultaneous implementation to send a clear message to squatters that the government means business in the dismantling of illegally built houses.

The team will also be looking into the encroachments of the structures to the road-right-of-way of the various road networks surrounding the Baguio Dairy Farm.

Aside from the building permit and road-right-of-way encroachments, the team will also validate and verify if the structures were issued excavation permits by the concerned local governments and if they have been complying with the provisions of such permits to put things in order in the area.

Reports reaching the city government and the Tuba municipal government showed the continuous put up of structures within the jurisdiction of the Baguio Dairy Farm which has been described to be alarming, thus, the need for the concerned agencies and local governments to consolidate their efforts in order to prevent the eventual invasion of the area by unscrupulous land speculators.

The demolition orders to be issued by the city government and the Tuba municipal government will be anchored on the fact that the structures that were built were not issued the requisite building permits by the concerned local government.

While some of those who built their structures have their titles over their properties in the area, the composite team ruled that the building of the structures are still considered illegal because they failed to obtain the required building permits from the concerned local governments plus the fact that the issue on the ancestral land title issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has not yet been resolved with finality.

The DA-CAR has been ordered by Secretary Proceso J. Alcala to submit a comprehensive master plan for the development of the Baguio Dairy Farm in order to serve its purpose for the benefit of cattle growers who are engaged in the production of cow’s milk and other dairy products to supply the requirements of the city. By Dexter A. See

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