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Monday, May 20, 2024

‘Make parcels at John Hay disposable’

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Rep. Mark Go of Baguio City wants to declare segregated parcels of land under the Camp John Hay reservation as “alienable and disposable.”

Go said his House Bill 9428, once enacted, will allow residents within the area to own titles to the occupied portions.

“Camp John Hay, a former military base of the United States, has been under the ownership and control of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) since the departure of US forces,” Go, chair of the House Committee on Basic Education, said.

Republic Act 7227 or the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 created the BCDA and placed former US bases in the Philippines under the administration of the government-controlled corporation.

In 1993, Proclamation 198 transferred the ownership, administration, and control over the John Hay Air Station covering an area of 570 hectares, more or less, to BCDA.

Go said in his bill’s explanatory note that the property has since been converted for civilian use, with the BCDA administering its tourism, human resource development center, and multiple-use forest watershed reservation purposes.

In 1994, the Baguio City Sangguniang Panlungsod passed Resolution 362, which outlined 19 conditionalities for the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) in developing its master plan for Camp John Hay, which included a demand to segregate barangays that overlap within the area turned over to the BCDA.

In 2001, the BCDA was able to partially segregate certain portions of Barangay Scout Barrio to current and qualified occupants, declaring portions of the former military reservation as alienable and disposable so the residents can be issued with property titles

However, some 12 barangays have yet to be segregated until now, which has led to tension among the residents that occupy the land, Go stressed.

Go said he sought the approval of this bill “to finally put this impasse to rest and to give life to the intention of the representatives of the city for the segregation of the barangays included in the John Hay reservation.”

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