DA cedes 8-hectare Dairy Farm lot to Baguio

BAGUIO CITY January 29 – Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol formally signed the deed of usufruct ceding to the local government more or less 8 hectares from the 92-hectare Baguio Dairy Farm for the city's major expansion projects to decongest the central business district area.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the city government is simply awaiting the signed document from the agriculture department so that the city will be able to craft programs, projects and activities to ensure the optimum utilization of the ceded property for the benefit of the public.

"We are elated that the much awaited deed of usufruct has already been signed by Secretary Pinol so we can pursue our efforts to develop that portion of the Dairy Farm property for the benefit of our constituents, especially in ensuring there will be a significant reduction in the congestions in the central business district area," Domogan stressed.

The local chief executive directed the City Engineering Office to prepare the survey of the ceded property while ordering the City Planning and Development Office to start crafting the comprehensive master development plan of the property.

On the issue of the presence of informal settlers that continue to occupy strategic portions of the property, Domogan explained some of the informal settlers allegedly secured an injunction that restrained the implementation of the demolition of their illegal structures within portions of the government property.

He said the agriculture department, in coordination with the local government, will definitely facilitate the immediate removal of the illegal structures in the property to allow its development for public purposes once the injunction will be lifted by the court.

According to him, the deed of usufruct will have a lifespan of 25 years renewable for a similar period upon the mutual agreement of both parties.

Earlier, the subject area of the deed of usufruct was supposed to be 5 hectares but was increased to 8 hectares so that more government facilities could be erected to help decongest the central business district, with one of the projects being a central bus terminal for south-bound buses to free Gov. Pack road from monstrous traffic jams daily because of the presence of the different bus terminals in the said area.

The Baguio Dairy Farm property is under the jurisdiction of the agriculture department to help in the government's efforts to improve dairy production in the highlands, especially that dairy production is one of the lacking components of the agriculture sector in the Cordillera.

A portion of the ceded property is the existing site of the local government's temporary waste transfer station for the hauling of the city's residual waste outside the city which was issued the required certificate of non-coverage by the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR).

By Dexter A. See

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