BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said there are no ‘untouchables\ among the identified squatters within the BIBAK property along Harrison Road, saying that the city government is inclined to demolish the illegal structures once it is able to satisfy the issues raised by the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP).
The local chief executive pointed out it is just a matter of time for the demolition of the BIBAK structures to be enforced against those who illegally built their structures within the government property contrary to the claim of some of the squatters that they are ‘untouchables’ that is why the city government cannot pursue the removal of their illegal structures.
“We were able to get the support of various sectors relative to the demolition of illegal structures that continue to mushroom within the BIBAK property that is why it is just a matter of time before we can implement the same as we are awaiting developments from the PCUP,” Domogan stressed.
Earlier, The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) passed a resolution strongly supporting the implementation of a demolition order issued by the city government against the illegal structures that were built by informal settlers over portions of the BIBAK property along Harrison road.
He explained it is clear that the property is for the BIBAK federation and primarily intended as the site of the dormitory of students who come from the different parts of the Cordillera and who are studying in the city that is why the squatters have no place in the area.
According to him, what is preventing the city from implementing the demolition of the structures is a request from the PCUP to hold in abeyance the same to assess the claim of those affected individuals that they are members of the urban poor.
However, Domogan argued based on plain view and assessment of ordinary people who had been observing the structures, the owners of the houses in the area are not members of the urban poor.
The city mayor directed the members of the city anti-squatting committee to inquire from the PCUP on the actions that it had taken on the response of the city government to the claim of the BIBAK property squatters so that the local government can now make its move for the dismantling of the illegal structures for the property to be used by the BIBAK for its desired purpose in the future.
A good number of concerned individuals and groups had been inquiring on what are the latest actions of the city government on the long standing demolition of the illegal structures built within the BIBAK property after city officials have committed that the informal settlers will be removed from the area after being found that they built the structures illegally.
It was learned that the 5-hectare BIBAK property along Harrison road which was encroached by some 55 illegal structures, has been placed under the care of the Cordillera office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in order to pursue its purpose to provide temporary housing for students who come from the different parts of the Cordillera who are studying in the city.
Domogan appealed to the public to be patient in awaiting the decision of the PCUP prior to the implementation of the demolition in the BIBAK property. By Dexter A. See