Briccio Cesar Domondon | Sun Star Baguio | July 14, 2015

THE City Council is bent on pursuing its line of inquiry in aid of legislation with regard to the Camp John Hay reservation and has set another special session on July 21, 2015 (Tuesday) at 2 p.m. at its session hall.

The august body decided to invite anew Atty. Arnel Casanova or his duly authorized representative as well as Robert John Sobrepena, Chairman of the Camp John Hay Development Corporation or his duly authorized representative, and the 13 Punong Barangays of the affected barangays within the John Hay reservation, to serve as resource persons on various issues concerning the former American base. The invitation stemmed from two proposed resolutions with one introduced by City Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. for CJHDevCo to shed light on a statement it issued that all improvements within Camp John Hay shall remain with the third parties with whom they have contracted or leased out in the areas within the reservation. The said proposed resolution cited conditionality No. 16 of City Resolution No. 362 series of 1994 which provides that, "The BCDA shall effect the transfer of ownership of the land and its built-up and improved structures within the Zone from the BCDA to the Baguio City government upon the expiration of the land-lease agreement between the BCDA and its designated developer, in accordance with the policy and procedures provided by law". The proposed measure further mentioned that with the termination of the lease contract/land lease agreements between BCDA and CJHDevCo, all improvements within the Camp John Hay which include, among others, the Manor, Forest Lodge, and other improvements shall accrue to the city government of Baguio.

Meanwhile the second proposed resolution which triggered the invitation was introduced by Hon. Edison Bilog, City Vice Mayor which was entitled "inviting in aid of legislation the Punong Barangays of the 13 Barangays within the Camp John hay Reservation and the Chairperson of the Camp John Hay Development Corporation or his duly authorized representative to be resource persons in a special session to be scheduled by the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Baguio." The proposed measure explained that due to the lengthy discussions and lack of time during the previous special session in which the above personalities had been invited, they were not able to present their stand on issues relative to the following: (a)update on the segregation of barangays within the Camp John Hay reservation, (b)appeal of the schools within Camp John Hay who stand the possibility of eviction from their school sites, (c)the situation of the present labor force in Camp John Hay who stand to be displaced with the impending take over by the BCDA, and (d) the matter on the city's share from the operation of the Camp John Hay pursuant to City Resolution No. 362 series of 1994, among others. It further added that there is a need to once again invite the concerned Punong Barangays to listen to the matters being raised by them, in aid of legislation.

During deliberation of the matter by the members of the august body, it was the consensus of the members to just invite anew the BCDA along with the CJHDevCo and the 13 Punong Barangays in order to discuss all concerns previously raised and in order to obtain better clarification of the issues involved with the anticipated response from the CJHDevCo and the 13 Punong Barangays.

To recall, the thirteen barangays clamoring for segregation from the Camp John Hay reservation are barangays Camp 7, Country Club Village, Lower Dagsian, Upper Dagsian, Greenwater, happy Hallow, Hillside, Loakan-Apugan, Loakan-Liwanag, Loakan Proper, Lucnab, Scout Barrio, and Sta. Scholastica Village.