Baguio mayor orders eviction of informal settlers at BIBAK lot
Hundreds of informal settlers at a government lot along Harrison Road in Baguio City are facing eviction on orders of Mayor Mauricio Domogan.
Domogan said the informal settlers at the Benguet-Ifugao-Bontoc-Apayao-Kalinga (BIBAK) lot have been issued notices asking them to voluntarily demolish their structures and vacate the area before the scheduled demolition on August 11-14.
The Baguio mayor said he is hoping that the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) will not object to the move after its officials personally saw that the area is not occupied by BIBAK students but by “unscrupulous individuals profiting from a government property.”
PCUP Chairman Hernani Panganiban had been opposing the demolition, saying that the settlers are members of the marginalized sector and have been occupying the BIBAK compound since 1982 and thus are qualified to stay in the area or be granted relocation privileges under Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992.
The city’s bid to clear the lot measuring about 5,000 square meters is supported by the former leaders of the BIBAK Student Dormitories Inc., the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera (DENR-CAR).
Domogan maintained that the present occupants are private individuals who entered the property without permission and are now utilizing the area for profit.
He pointed out the lot was segregated from Original Certificate Title (OCT) Numbered 01 in favor of the BIBAK Dormitories Inc. in 1961 and “was slated to cater to the housing needs of the students coming from the BIBAK areas”.
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