The City Council has approved on second reading the proposed ordinance declaring Happy Hallow Barangay as a historical, heritage, and ecological site. According to Councilor Isabelo Cosalan Jr., author of the proposed ordinance, Happy Hallow barangay has historically been a “very important crossroad” as it has been piloted for the cultural mapping process undertaken by the City Government of Baguio guided by the cultural mapping toolkit designed by the National Commission for Cultural and Arts (NCCA).

In 2022, through the cultural mapping, 216 artifacts were presented to and validated by the community in Happy Hallow. This, according to Cosalan, has raised the community’s awareness about the importance of safeguarding living heritage. In his proposal, Cosalan stressed the importance of the living heritage approach for preserving culture and tradition where the practice of cultural heritage is handed down from one generation to the next. This approach, he said, involves more complex processes than simply saving and restoring old buildings and sites with historic importance.

Happy Hallow Barangay is an ancestral domain covered by Original Certificate Title No. OCALT-58 with a total land area of 146.182 hectares more or less. Through this ordinance, Happy Hallow Barangay shall be zoned as an ecological-heritage district in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and the zoning ordinance. According to the proposed ordinance, all activities within the ecological-heritage district must be in accordance with the Ancestral Domain Sustainable development and Protection Plan of Happy Hallow Barangay and the guidelines set by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NCHIP).

The City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) shall oversee and monitor the implementation of these activities. An inter-agency committee shall be created to aid the CPDO in the determination, formulation, implementation, and monitoring of appropriate programs for the enhancement and adaption of the ecological heritage district.

The committee shall consist of the city mayor as chairperson, Baguio City’s Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative as co-chairperson, president of the Happy Hallow Indigenous Peoples Organization as vice chairman with the Happy Hallow punong barangay, Happy Hallow SK president and representatives from the Department of Human Settlement and Urban
Development, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Department of Tourism, and concerned civil society organizations as members.

All committee recommendations shall be submitted to the City Planning and Development Office and to the city council for appropriate action. An amount of not less than P5 million shall be
appropriated from the annual budget of the city government every year for the sustainable development and protection of the ecological-heritage district.

SP/Jordan G. Habbiling


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