CEPMO told to secure forest nursery

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) to secure the city property along Ambuclao road as the city’s forest nursery for the said area has been given to the city pursuant to a joint memorandum signed on April 12, 2000, between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the city.

While the said area was included in the coverage of Proclamation No. 1221, dated 14 January 1974 and declaring it as grant to the Saint Louis University (SLU) for the College of Medicine and community hospital purposes, the local chief executive cited per DENR records, the said area had been reverted to the government because of the decision of the SLU Board of Trustees during their meeting on 18 March 1981 resolving that the subject of grant for its College of Medicine and community hospital be reverted to the government.

“It is therefore demanded of the local government, through the CEPMO, to protect and safeguard the said property and utilize the same for its purpose as stated in the joint memorandum as forest nursery site,” Domogan stated.

He also directed the CEPMO to inform the Gibraltar Livelihood Association the legal basis why the local government is securing the said property for it to be used as a forest nursery production area to produce more tree species which could be used for tree planting activities around the city.

Earlier, Cordelia C. Lacsamana, City Environment and Parks Management Officer, reported to the local chief executive that their newly constructed guardhouse in the vicinity of the property was allegedly demolished by still unidentified individuals believed to be residents of the Gibraltar and those who have interests in the said property.

Lacsamana recommended for the immediate dismantling of the old structures in the area and for the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) to fasttrack the processing of the building permits for the construction of permanent structures in the said city property.

Further, she recommended that there should be a dialogue among city officials and the concerned local government departments to facilitate the immediate implementation of projects that will secure the property from being intruded upon by unscrupulous individuals wanting to take over the property

The demolition of the newly constructed guardhouse was reported by CEPMO personnel to the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) Station No. 3 which should serve as a basis for the filing of the appropriate charges against those responsible for the dismantling of the new structure in the area.

Domogan asserted that there is no legal basis for any individual and group to claim that the area is not the property of the local government when it is very clear in the proceedings of the SLU Board of Trustees that it decided to revert back the property to the government and it will now be up to the city to decide how to use the property. - Dexter A. See