Amid dissent within the Baguio City Council on the Revised City Charter (Republic Act No. 11689),
another measure proposed by Congressman Marquez Go is being scrutinized by the city council members for its “contentious” provisions. In a position paper submitted to the House or Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in December 2023, the city council members
strongly expressed their reservations on this proposed measure seeking to segregate the 13 barangays from the Camp John Hay (CJH) Reservation Area.

House Bill No. 9428 was filed by Go in response to the collective voice of the people and a consensus among the punong barangays from the 13 concerned barangays in the city. This bill seeks to declare certain parcels of land within the Camp John Hay (CJH) Reservation Area alienable and disposable. This bill, when passed, shall allow qualified residents within these areas to legally own their respective occupied portions by obtaining titles.

The 13 barangays to benefit from the said measure are Camp 7, Country Club Village, Greenwater, Happy Hallow, Hillside, ApuganLoakan, Loakan-Liwanag, Loakan Proper, Lower Dagsian, Lucnab, Sta. Escolastica Village, Scout Barrio, and Upper Dagsian. According to the city council members, there is a need to carefully study the said measure before its implementation as it may potentially impact these 13 barangays. Through this position paper, the city council called for consultations with these affected communities in order to arrive at a more prudent decision.

The city council members pointed out that Go, during the hearing in the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources last November 29, 2023, had pledged to conduct public consultations on the bill with the stakeholders before its filing. To date, the city council members are still looking forward to this move as they believe that a consensus on the said segregation must be reached first before the passage of any legislation. The first key point was the need for a thorough study in identifying, verifying, and validating the areas in the 13 barangays in order to ensure the accuracy of these land parcels proposed to be declared as alienable and disposable.

The second one was the system of segregation, which appears to be the Scout Barrio Model, as proposed by the bill. The city council members claimed this may not be the right model for these affected areas. They hinted at the inequitable division of proceeds between the city government and BCDA, stating, “the proceeds of the sales of the lots should not only be for BCDA.” The city council members also suggested that the bill must consider the “total segregation” of these 13 barangays, taking into account the fact that the segregation of Scout Barrio had not been completed because
certain parcels of land, both unoccupied and occupied, were yet to be transferred.

Jordan Habbiling/SP

Amianan Balita Ngayon