The Baguio Regreening Movement is requesting basic service providers in the city not to provide services to the informal settlers at Busol forest reservation.
In Resolution 4, s. 2013 passed last month, the BRM asked the Benguet Electric Cooperative, Baguio Water District, and other utilities in the city not to provide the Busol informal settlers with the basic services such as water, electricity, and other services to minimize or discourage further entry of settlers in the forest reservation.
The group said if nothing is done to address the issues that continuously destroy the integrity of the Busol forest reservation as source of water which is already very scarce in the city, “sooner we will wake up with no water to drink or use for other purposes.”
“Before it is too late, the people of Baguio should do something and come up with strategies to discourage people from settling at the reservation,” the resolution, signed by BRM chair Erdolfo Balajadia and Dr. Julie Cabato as secretary, said.
The Busol watershed is threatened by various illegal activities such as squatting and informal settling, timber poaching, illegal occupation, burning, and gardening, which are mainly caused by the continuous influx of people in the reservation, coupled with the same people’s lack of interest to protect the reservation, who instead continue to expand their claims.
The Busol forest reservation supplies about 30 percent of water for domestic use of Baguio populace.