BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative (AO) 504 clearing committee recommended to the local government the conduct of a final survey of all the identified barangay and city land needs to guarantee the preservation and protection of public lands from unscrupulous land speculators.
Engr. Leandro de Jesus, chief technical staff of the AO 504 Clearing Committee, said it is not enough for barangays and the local government to identify certain parcels of land for barangay or city needs because there is still a need for the final survey of the property to determine the metes and bounds of the lands to prevent its encroached by enterprising land speculators.
De Jesus appeared during the regular session of the city Council last Monday to explain the status of parcels of lands in the different barangays either identified for barangay and city needs through various resolutions of the city Land Needs Identification Committee.
The DENR official explained Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan recently created a survey committee tasked to conduct the final survey in all the identified barangay and city land needs for the possible protection of the properties from encroachments as most of the identified barangay and city needs are prime lots in the different barangays.
Under existing guidelines, applications for townsite sales of individuals covering lands that have been previously declared for barangay and city needs will be automatically denied because public needs take preference over said applications.
Earlier, the local government appropriated some P5 million to fund the survey of all the lands in the city identified for barangay and city needs.
After the approval of the survey of the identified city and barangay needs, the appropriate monuments shall be put in place. Based on reports from the various barangays in the city, concerned barangay officials have complained that the identified barangay and city needs in their areas of jurisdiction have either been applied for the issuance of townsite sales applications by enterprising private individuals while some of the identified lands for public needs have been already squatted upon, thus, the need for the local government to come out with the appropriate measures to protect the said properties from further encroachments to be used for public purposes in the future.
De Jesus called on residents to report to their barangay officials illegal activities of enterprising land speculators over areas identified for barangay or city needs so that appropriate actions could be taken to prevent the erection of permanent structures over the identified public lands.
By Dexter A. See