Issue of January 6, 2019

71th Courier Anniversary Issue
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MGD decries use of Quirino Hill to depict congestion in city
by PIO release

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan lashed out at proponents of the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay Development Authority (BLISTTDA) for using the former Carabao Mountain or Quirino Hill to depict the effects of urbanization to the state of the environment of Baguio City.

He said such gesture is unfair to the residents of the area who were beneficiaries of the Quirino Hill housing site.

The mayor said former city officials declared the former Carabao Mountain a relocation site in the 1960s and was awarded to residents via the miscellaneous sales application (MSA).

“It is too easy for some people to make pronouncements to move people out of Baguio City because of the supposed congestion but it is difficult to do so because of the numerous implications attached to it. It is also unfair to the residents of Quirino Hill to be used as an example by the proponents of the BLISTTDA to depict the city’s congestion because the said area is not the only overcrowded place in the city,” Domogan.

He said structures erected in Quirino Hill suffered the least damage or even none at all during the July 16, 1990 killer earthquake while those constructed with the assistance and supervision of experts, were the ones that crumbled.

He said the situation only shows that the structures in the Quirino Hill area have been sturdily built and there is no clear basis to use the situation of the area to showcase the city’s supposed congestion.

Domogan said forcibly moving people out of Baguio as advised by some BLISTTDA proponents and advocates is a complicated matter that must be reviewed because residents legally occupying spaces cannot just be driven away from their titled properties.

He argued there are no laws that prohibit people from travelling, spending a vacation and legally building a structure in the city because the proposal to prohibit people from flocking to the city undermines the right of the people to travel, among other rights attached to it.

He said what is important is for concerned agencies and the local government to agree on how to approach the problems of urbanization without displacing people who have already established existing rights to their structures.

He said local officials are in favor of the creation of the BLISTTDA but not to the extent of making it as a super body that could trample upon the autonomy of involved local government units.

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