City to reclaim open spaces from informal settles

Open spaces titled under the name of the city government will be reclaimed from informal settlers as city officials are now focused on turning idle real properties into potential investment sites.
The Asset and Property Management Division of the City General Services Office said the city owns 16 open spaces outside the central business district duly titled under the name of the city government.
Portions of these open spaces occupied by informal settlers include a 3,879 sq.m lot along Extension Road adjoining Leonilla Hill Rd; a 774 sq.m lot along Cosmos/Daisy St. in Amparo Heights; and another 1,497 lot near the warehouse of Teahouse Pastries.
Supervising Administrative Officer Arnulfo Baldos of the Asset and Property Management Division of GSO said the presence of informal settlers were found by the GSO while updating the assets record and ocular inspection of the city properties.
These properties were presented to the Management Committee of the city chaired by Mayor Benjamin Magalong and co-chaired by City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Peña on Tuesday, 5 November 2019.
Members of the committee agreed that the City Buildings and Architecture Office should issue notices to vacate prior to the demolition of illegal structures built therein.
While the city is yet to identify appropriate development for these open spaces, Dela Peña said the properties have to be secured to shun informal settlers.
Aside from informal settlers, some properties are being utilized by private individuals as grazing and agricultural land.
Meanwhile, some of the properties were developed as basketball court used by the barangays while others were established as barangay tree parks and mini parks.
The city also owns 20 parks and commercial sites aside from several building structures owned by the city but being used by agencies, organizations and civic groups which will be reviewed if there is a need to update terms of reference in the use of these properties.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city needs to review how its properties are being used to fit the needs of the city at present particularly the need to establish parking buildings and to find a suitable area for the Bureau of Fire Protection’s main office as well as expansion of the Baguio public cemetery, among other needs. ** Jessa Mardy Samidan

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