No height limitations for Baguio structures - Mayor

BAGUIO CITY, October 29 – Contrary to perceptions that high rise structures are banned in the city due to alleged geological disadvantages, Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan clarifiedthat the city government is not imposing restrictions on the height of buildings to be built in the country’s Summer Capital.

However, the local chief executive explained the determination of the height of a building to be constructed in any part of the city will depend on the outcome of the soil tests to be conducted by experts so that the handling capacity of the soil coupled with the use of the appropriate structural engineering methods and materials for a building will be established.

While the July 16, 1990 killer earthquake caused high rise structures in the city then to collapse, Domogan disclosed findings of experts who repeatedly studied the situation that showed the unfortunate destruction to buildings then was due to alleged poor structural design, thus magnifying the earthquake damage and claiming hundreds of innocent lives.

Because of the scenario right after the earthquake, concerned government agencies and the city government devised appropriate measures to ascertain the stability of a certain area as well as its capacity in order to regulate the putting up of high rise structures, thus, the need for investors to first conduct the mandatory soil test and geological assessment of the area prior to planning and constructing a high rise structure.

According to the city mayor, prospective investors should not fear the height limitations being imposed on buildings to be constructed because the state of the structure to be built will solely depend on the outcome of the soil tests and geological assessment to be done by no less than experts who are familiar with the situation of the city.

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City, Asin land owners end dispute agree on compensation accord.

By Aileen Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY – The city government and landowners affected by the operation of the city-owned Asin minihydroelectric plants in Tadiangan and Nangalisan, Tuba town Thursday ended a long standing dispute by signing a compromise agreement for the compensation of the residents whose lands are affected by the pipelines and plant facilities.

The agreement signed by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Tadiangan-Nangalisan Hydro Landowners Association (TNHLA) president Roger Sinot settled the conflict between the two parties over reparation issues that in the past resulted in disruption of the plants’ operations and even led to a court case between the parties.

The accord also meant that the city can now pursue its plans to privatize the operation of the plants which has in the past been hindered by the dispute with the landowners.

The mayor said the compromise agreement will form part of the terms of reference (TOR) now awaiting finalization to jumpstart the bidding process for the plants’ privatization.

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Domogan exonerated by Sen. Santiago and intelligence reports


Senator Miriam Santiago’s privilege speech may have exonerated Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan from the allegations made by retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz identifying the Baguio official as one of those receiving payoffs from jueteng.

Sen. Santiago’s speech, delivered on Wednesday, enumerated the names of the supposed operators and those on the take for jueteng money in various provinces. Unlike in the Cruz list, Santiago’s did not include Domogan, though the senator’s list was more extensive.

This development came about as various groups in the city rallied behind Mayor Domogan expressing their overwhelming support and condemning what they see as a politically-motivated move against the city’s chief executive. The incumbent barangay officials in the city under the leadership of Councilor Joel Alangsab, former baranagay officials, religious groups, senior citizens groups and even the Tourism Council of Baguio among other groups signed their respective manifestos of support for the mayor and expressing their dismay over the sweeping accusations made by Cruz. These groups will send the manifestos to the Senate and to Bishop Cruz.

Congressman Bernardo Vergara disclosed to the media during his bi-monthly press conference last Friday of his plan to deliver a privilege speech in the Lower House in defense of Mayor Domogan and the City of Baguio as a tourism center. “We are very dismayed on the very sweeping accusations against our mayor. I for one and the overwhelming majority of our people can vouch to the integrity of Mayor Domogan,” he said in the presence of Domogan whom he invited to the press con.

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Martin cries foul on jueteng issue Domogan calls archbishop a “liar.

BAGUIO CITY, September 24 – An embattled retired police general here lashed back at retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz for alluding to him and Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan as gambling lords and protectors of jueteng in this mountain resort city.

“Mayor Domogan and the officialdom of Baguio City are known anti-gambling advocates. Proof of this is the non existence of casinos or Small Town Lottery (STL) operations in the jurisdiction of the city. If I were an operator of jueteng in the city, they will be the first one to have denounced, condemned or castigated me and not somebody whose source of information is very dubious,” retired Police Director Eugene G. Martin, former head of the Directorate for Intelligence of the Philippine National Police (PNP), stressed here Wednesday.

Based on information reaching him even when he was in active service, Martin claimed the reason why Mayor Domogan’s name has been dragged into the purported list of gambling lords and jueteng protectors is that he never entertained or met with gambling operators because of his firm anti-gambling policy even when he was the city mayor from 1992 to 2001.

For his part, Martin disclosed that during his term as PNP intelligence chief, the PNP was able to file numerous cases against the Meridian, a gaming and amusement corporation allegedly owned by Charlie Atong Ang, one of the supposed sources of Cruz, for being an alleged front of illegal gambling.

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Statement of Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan on the jueteng issue.

We are deeply saddened that our name was dragged by retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz into the controversial jueteng issue which has been repeated from time to time. In all humility, I vehemently deny being a gambling lord or a protector of jueteng or any illegal gambling for that matter. I am not a gambler and will continue to go against it. We welcome the conduct of the inquiry on the jueteng issue but we do not adhere to the fact that the inquiry is just being used by some quarters to ruin the reputation of people who have tried their very best to protect their names only to be tainted by unverified reports and mere hearsays.

To show our desire to curb the proliferation of all forms of illegal gambling, not only jueteng, we created Task Force JUPITER or “Just and Unified Peoples Initiative Towards Eradicating Rampant Illegal Gambling” under Administrative Order (AO) No. 126, Series of 2010, dated August 26, 2010, to come out with the appropriate strategies to be enforced to put a stop to illegal gambling in our city. Gambling is a social menace that cannot be eradicated overnight considering that jueteng was brought to our country by over four centuries ago. However, We have been relentless in our campaign to eradicate all forms of illegal gambling to restore the character and morality of our people. We have always been asking the cooperation of the public in curbing jueteng since no gambling will exist without the same being patronized by our people who rely on games of chance to survive.

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Speech Delivered by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan during the Cordillera Month Closing Ceremony
July 26 SLU-BC




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