City supports plan for baguio conservation as national asset; dad seeks city involvement in planning

BAGUIO CITY – The city council last Monday approved a resolution supporting President Aquino's order for the drawing up of a comprehensive environment zoning plan for the conservation of the city along with Boracay as national assets.

In a resolution proposed by Vice Mayor Daniel Farinas, the body welcomed the President's move that seeks to bring back the city's old rustic charm.

However, the city government must be involved in the said plan, according to Councilor Isabelo Cosalan Jr. who in a proposed resolution asked the President to include the city government of Baguio and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in the inter-agency body created to map our said plan.

"The city government as the primary stakeholder must be involved to make certain local grassroot participation to whatever environmental plan conceived, including the enactment, ratification or implementation of necessary support local ordinances, resolutions, development programs and projects," Cosalan noted.

He said the plan "is a direct intervention into the local development plan that must be in coordination with the city government to ensure that it conforms to the City's Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) currently being updated."

He said the NCIP must also be involved due to the presence of ancestral land claims over environmentally critical lands like forest, watershed, aquifers and parks of ecological importance, recognized by the government through the NCIP and are either issued Certificate of Ancestral Domain/Land Titles (CADT/CALT) pursuant to R. A. 8371 also known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act."

"Involving the indigenous peoples and ancestral land owners in the formulation of an environment plan for the City of Baguio would facilitate the preparation of the said plan and ensuring the proper implementation of the same through the partnership of the concerned National Line Agencies, the Local Government of Baguio and other stakeholders particularly the CADT/CALT possessors," he said.

The President issued a memorandum on March 27, 2012 directing the Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, Department of Environment and natural Resources Secretary Ramon Jesus P. Paje, Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez and Department of Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima to draw a comprehensive environment zoning plan for the conservation of Baguio City and Boracay as National Assets. – A Refuerzo

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