No meeting yet for Baguio, TWG-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Friday, March 21, 2014
AFTER meeting with local officials in September, the Baguio-Boracay Redevelopment technical working group has not met with the city government to further discuss its plans for the city’s development.
While Boracay seemed to have already implemented its 30-meter easement of its beaches and caused demolition for those violating zoning ordinances among other redevelopment plans to boost tourism, Baguio City seems to be lagging behind in implementing its development plans.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan said there was no communication from the Baguio-Boracay Redevelopment technical working group after its meeting six months ago with local officials.
Domogan said he understands the difficulty of the situation especially for the Baguio-Boracay Redevelopment TWG citing problems on land ownership involving titles issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
“Mahirap kasi ang situation ng Baguio kasi tied up sa ibang legal problems kagaya ng mga titulo na binigay ng NCIP that is why may pending cases sa korte,” he said.
The mayor stressed tourism initiatives cannot move forward when underlying issues on land ownership of several watersheds and tourism sites are not corrected.
He said problems such as issuance of ancestral land titles on watersheds and reservations must be corrected first before any action could be done to redevelop these areas.
But he said, in fairness to the Baguio-Boracay Redevelopment TWG there were some commitments achieved including the non-registration by the Registry of Deeds on spurious ancestral land titles.
“I hope that NCIP will continue to review the titles they have issued and look at these. If they could confirm the irregularities in the way these titles were issued that can be the legal basis for these CALTs to be declared null and void,” he said.
On the part of the city government, the city mayor said it has already enforced strict regulations on sidewalk vendors with the recent clearing of the public market and other major streets in the Central Business District upon recommendation of the Baguio-Boracay Redevelopment TWG.
He stressed despite petitions from ambulant to sell for certain hours in sidewalks the local government will remain firm on its decision to prohibit vendors from illegally selling and instead offered them to apply for slots at the public market or in the bustling night market activities in the city.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 22, 2014.