No more extensions for BIBAK informal settlers

admin   •   July 10, 2017   •   4268

BAGUIO, Philippines — The local government of Baguio City will continue with demolition of illegal structures at Benguet-Ifugao-Bontoc-Apayao-Kalinga (BIBAK ) property next month.

Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the 60-year stay of  illegal settlers in the area has been enough and is now time for the government to use the land.

The illegal structures within the BIBAK property were scheduled to be demolished on June 30, but was postponed for three months to allow the residents to voluntarily leave the place.

“Vacate the property so that we can comply to what the audit said that,’The city government should exert effort to generate income from these properties.’ That’s the only issue there,” said Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan.

Fifty-eight families live in the area and most of them have chosen to leave.

But some of the families who remain in the area, do not want to transfer to the allocated relocation site in Longlong, La Trinidad because the facilities are not yet in place.

“What we are after is our rights. Isn’t there a policy that says without a relocation site, there will be no demolition?” a resident argued.

The local government expects the illegal settler to leave voluntarily to avoid conflict. — Marvin Calas | UNTV News & Rescue

Abra, Baguio City, Bohol placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions effective Sept. 24

Marje Pelayo   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The provinces of Abra and Bohol as well as Baguio City have been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from September 24 to 30.

The new quarantine classification was announced by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday (September 23) evening as approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Prior to the latest announcement, Abra and Baguio City were under GCQ while Bohol was under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Under GCQ with heightened restrictions, the following activities are allowed:

1. Indoor dining services at 20% venue or seating capacity.
2. Al-fresco or outdoor dining services at 50% venue or seating capacity.
3. Personal care service providers like beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops, and nail spas at 30% venue or seating capacity.
4. Outdoor tourist attractions at 30% venue capacity with strict adherence to minimum public health standards.
5. Business establishments with Safety Seal Certifications are allowed at an additional 10% points beyond the prescribed on-site capacity or venue capacity, whichever is applicable.
6. Religious gatherings to 10% of the venue capacity which the local government unit (LGU) may increase to 30% if needed.
7. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 and for the cremains of the COVID-19 deceased but limited to immediate family members
8. Interzonal travel subject to restrictions of the local government unit of destination
9. Point-to-point travel to areas under GCQ and MGCQ without age restrictions subject to an RT-PCR test-before-travel requirement for those below 18 years old and above 65, and other protocols and restrictions as may be imposed by the Departmentof Tourism (DOT) and the LGU of destination.
10. Specialized markets of the Department of Tourism (DOT), such as staycations without age restrictions at such capacities, protocols and restrictions, as may be imposed by the Department

Meanwhile, activities not allowed under GCQ with heightened restrictions include:

1. Meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions events and social events in venue establishments
2. Indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions

Likewise in his statement, Roque said the province of Ilocos Norte shall be under a more relaxed risk-level classification from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to GCQ.

6.5 million housing units needed for informal settlers nationwide — DHSUD

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — At least 6.5 million housing for informal settlers are needed nationwide, according to the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).

DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario reported that the department already accomplished 1.07 million housing which is 89% out of the 1.2 million housing target for 2022.

Del Rosario said they are on track with the mission. However, he lamented that it is still far from the 6.5 million target units.

“Concerning the 6.5 million housing needed nationwide, medyo mababa ito (it is low) because that is only 20% of the total requirement,” he said.

Del Rosario said that from 2017 to 2021, the department’s budget is only ranging from about P4 billion to P5 billion, or only 10% of the recommended budget for their housing projects.

The official also added that the department needs P50 billion in order to address housing challenges in the country.

“Housing is capital intensive. Kailangan natin ng pondo (we need funds). We have been saying that we need P50 billion a year para makapagpagawa tayo and mai-transfer natin ang mga informal settler families to safer grounds (to build and transfer informal setter families to safer grounds),” he said.

Meanwhile, for the construction projects during the pandemic, Del Rosario reported that production decreased by 28% in 2020. However, he said the production this year has been improving. AAC

Baguio City closes doors to non-essential travels from Sept. 3 to 19

Marje Pelayo   •   September 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The local government of Baguio City has ordered the suspension of non-essential travels from all areas effective September 3 to 19 to impose measures to address the surging cases of COVID-19 in the city.

Under Executive Order No. 106 signed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the suspension covers non-essential travelers or individuals considered as persons not authorized outside of residence (non-APORs) coming “from all areas regardless of quarantine classification.”

“Non-residents traveling for leisure or other non-essential purposes, regardless of community quarantine classification in their place of origin, shall not be allowed to enter Baguio,” the order read.

Authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) will still be allowed to enter the city subject to health and safety protocols set by the local government which include a negative result of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test conducted within 72 hours before arrival.

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated individuals may present their vaccination documents instead of test results.

Based on the city government’s records, Baguio City’s daily average cases have increased to 87 since the third week of August when local transmission of the Delta variant has been confirmed.

As of September 1, Baguio City has a total of 162 COVID cases confirmed By the Philippine Genome Center with variants specified as Alpha (107 cases); Beta (49 cases); and Delta(6 cases).

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