By Dexter A. See
BAGUIO CITY – The approval of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources is needed to segregate barangays within Camp John Hay here.
This, as Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan told officials of Bases Conversion and Development Authority and its subsidiary, the John Hay Management Corp., he will personally provide assistance to secure approval of the DENR on survey to start segregation of 13 barangays from the 625-hectare Camp John Hay forest reservation.
The mayor expressed optimism segregation of the 13 barangays from the reservation will be realized during the term of President Duterte following positive pronouncements from new set of BCDA and JHMC officers on how to pursue segregation.
“We already had several meetings with BCDA and JHMC officials regarding the segregation of the 13 barangays and we were able to somewhat reach an agreement that it should be pursued the soonest through the conduct of consultations with the affected stakeholders. We made it clear to them that what should be segregated is the areas occupied by the barangays,” Domogan said.
He added he was awaiting decision of BCDA and JHMC officials on how to undertake the segregation so city officials will be able to provide inputs for realization of government commitment to inhabitants of the concerned barangays.
Domogan said, residents in the barangays to be segregated must understand rules being implemented by BCDA and JHMC regarding entry of construction materials wherein if the said materials will be for improvements of their houses, they must coordinate the matter with JHMC for their information and guidance.
Under existing rules, vertical and horizontal improvements of structures within the barangays situated within the Camp John Hay reservation are prohibited, except for individuals who own titled properties in said barangays.
Domogan said what is important now is for BCDA and JHMC officials to recognize the validity of the 19 conditions imposed by the local government for the development of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) wherein one of the conditions was for BCDA to facilitate the exclusion of the 14 barangays from the forest reservation.
He said the present BCDA and JHMC leadership is proactive that is why there is no compelling reason why segregation of the 14 barangays will not be realized considering existence of final survey results which only needs the approval of the DENR to start the process so people in the barangays to be segregated will have the chance to process titling of their lots once the lands in their barangays will be reclassified as alienable and disposable.
He said he was also awaiting results of the survey that was conducted for the identification of the political boundaries of the concerned barangays to be aligned with the cadastral survey conducted by the DENR to thresh out differences prior to implementation of segregation.