Land claim jeopardizes Bauko drug rehab center

>> Monday, September 26, 2016

By Roger Sacyaten

BAUKO, Mountain Province – Construction of the Regional Drug Rehabilitation Center in this town is on hold pending settlement of a claim over the site.
This was learned during consultation at municipal grounds here to settle the impasse and start procurement process.
 P65 million had been provided for in this year’s General Appropriations Act (GAA) of the national government and is at regional office of Dept. of Health.
“The construction works could be now be started but the land claim is affecting the process” said lawyer Veronica de Jesus, DOH regional office representative during the consultation.
“We require proof of ownership of the site,” she said.         
The Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital has in its name a 6.5 lot property within the vicinity of the hospital and is allotted as site of drug rehabilitation facilities.
But a certain Salvador Bernadez has staked a claim of ownership over one hectare of the said property of the hospital affecting now ownership of the proposed site of the drug rehabilitation center.
In a letter to provincial assessor Marjorie Kiat-ong dated July 29, 2016, Bernardez through his lawyer Sebastian Badongen, requested correction or rectification of the area of tax declaration of Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital alleging that it overlapped with tax declaration of Bernardez.
Bernardez’s tax declaration was claimed to have been made in 1961 but it was noted by technical people that the area was culled out from the approved lot plan of the DENR for the LHMRH.
During the Sept. 16 consultation, Bernardez or his representative did not show up to shed light on the concerns.
Others in attendance were members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Bauko,  barangay officials of Poblacion and Abatan, LHMRH employees led by Dr, Glenn Mathew Baggao, and local folks/
Representatives of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Office (PENRO) led by Octavio Cuanso, Provincial Legal Office, and provincial and municipal assessors offices were also present.
Participants, in the presence of Rep. MaximoDalog and Mayor Abraham Akilit, agreed to convince Bernardez to reconsider his claim in favor of the common good and benefits the establishment of the regional drug rehabilitation center would bring to Bauko and the province.
A group that included all members of the local legislative body, barangay captain Manuel Moling, and Manny Aluyen were tasked to confer with Bernardez within five days.
Dr.Baggao said there was no opposition or manifestation of problems during previous consultations in the past construction of the facility.
He asked why the adverse claim surfaced only now.  
Dalog said that there was no improvement, not even fence or plants, of the claimant of the property as evidence of claim by Bernardez.
The declaration of Bernardez indicated land as cogon land but actually full of pine trees.
He said the facility would usher development of the  province as facilities would be used by drug dependents from other provinces in the Cordillera and  Ilocos Region.
The participants supported conduct of amicable settlement.
“We will use the indigenous way of finding solutions but if not successful we will use legal means” Dalog said.
Meanwhile, he echoed his fears and of those in attendance of the possible backlash if the ownership over the property will not be solved.

The funds might be reverted back and might be used elsewhere.


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