Baguio, tuba seek final settlement of boundary issue

BAGUIO CITY – Baguio City and neighboring Tuba town officials will take a crack at finally settling the long standing boundary issue hounding the two local government units through legal means.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Wednesday said he agreed with Tuba Mayor Ignacio Rivera to allow both of their legal teams to meet to explore legal proceedings to resolve the issue.

The mayor earlier brought out the possibility of a compromise settlement where either the city or Tuba can file the case for boundary issue resolution and in the course of the litigation, both parties can submit the case for amicable settlement.

The mayor said the amended technical description of the metes and bounds of the city and Tuba as established in the agreed settlement that was confirmed by both the city and the municipal councils as a result of earlier negotiations with the Tuba town officials will be followed.

Under the agreed settlement, the city property along Marcos highway measuring close to eight hectares that includes three-fourths of the area where the Tuba municipal building is erected among other public structures will be ceded to the Tuba municipal government.

In turn, Tuba will give to the City a portion of the Sto. Tomas road area leading to the Mt. Sto. Tomas forest reservation.

"Mayor Rivera and I both do not want the issue to be blown out of proportion so we just agreed that he will accompany their legal officer to meet with our city legal officer to discuss the actions that will be taken to resolve the matter once and for all," Domogan said.

Hopes to settle the dispute years flickered after being included as one of the amendments in the repeated attempts in Congress to revise the city's Charter to no avail.

During the term of President Noynoy Aquino, the bill finally passed both Houses of Congress only to be vetoed eventually by the President for still unclear reasons.

Apart from the municipal hall, the Tuba police station and the Tuba Elementary School also lie within Baguio as shown during the probe done by the Senate committee on local governments chaired by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on the third bill filed for the purpose back in 2011.

Former city information officer Ramon Dacawi said that years back, a former Tuba mayor recalled to him how a municipal judge insisted that his sala be transferred to the other tip of the municipal hall to ensure that court proceedings were within legal jurisdiction. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

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