THE Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said its subsidiary John Hay Management Corp. (JHMC) has started removing parts of Barangay Hillside in Baguio City from its jurisdiction.
In a statement, the BCDA and John Hay said they have started disposing of residential lots to qualified occupants.
“This is the first crucial step to jumpstart the process of excluding portions of Barangay Hillside from Camp John Hay,” BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Joshua M. Bingcang said.
“We hope this development gives the public and the residents of Baguio the assurance that BCDA and JHMC are committed to deliver our obligations insofar as they are consistent with Republic Act 7227 or the BCDA Law,” Mr. Bingcang said.
On Tuesday, the BCDA issued certificates of recognition to 39 bonafide occupants in Barangay Hillside who are pre-qualified to purchase parcels of land where they have been residing as early as 1991.
“We are dedicated to the progress of Barangay Hillside, ensuring that its residents are empowered through land ownership. This initiative reflects our commitment to uphold the law and prioritize the welfare of the community,” JHMC President and Chief Executive Officer Allan R. Garcia said.
According to the BCDA, forested areas and water resources are to remain under the jurisdiction of both BCDA and JHMC while vacant lots are reserved as relocation sites for bonafide beneficiaries occupying forest areas, water resource areas and danger zones.
The state-owned firm said that it is aiming to commence the disposition of properties within the John Hay area which may be granted to qualified beneficiaries in accordance with applicable laws.
On Oct. 26, Baguio Rep. Mark O. Go filed House Bill 9428, which seeks to declare portions of Camp John Hay as alienable and disposable, and excluded from the coverage of the BCDA law.
The bill proposes that these sites, encompassing 12 barangays in Baguio City, to be open to disposition to qualified applicants, the BCDA said.
The bill has been with the House of Representative Committee on Natural Resources since Nov. 8. — Justine Irish D. Tabile