By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – Officials of this city and the neighboring municipality of Tuba in Benguet, are working to finally settle their long – standing boundary issues.
Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Tuba Mayor Ignacio Rivera tapped their legal teams to explore legal remedies in a bid to resolve the issue.
Aileen Refuerzo, Baguio City information officer said Domogan earlier raised the possibility of a compromise settlement through legal proceedings.
Domogan said the amended technical description of the boundaries of the city and Tuba, as established in the agreed settlement that was confirmed by both the city and the municipal councils as a result of earlier negotiations with the Tuba town officials, will be followed.
Under the agreed settlement, the city property along Marcos highway measuring close to eight hectares that includes three-fourths of the area where the Tuba municipal building is erected among other public structures will be ceded to the Tuba municipal government.
In turn, Tuba will give up a portion of the Sto. Tomas road area, leading to the Mt. Sto. Tomas forest reservation.
“Mayor Rivera and I both do not want the issue to be blown out of proportion so we just agreed that he will accompany their legal officer to meet with our city legal officer to discuss the actions that will be taken to resolve the matter once and for all,” Domogan said.
Hopes to settle the dispute years ago waned due to efforts to initiatives in Congress to revise the city’s Charter, to no avail.
Refuerzo said that during the term of President Bengino C. Aquino III, the bill finally passed both Houses of Congress only to be vetoed eventually by the President for still unclear reasons.
Apart from the municipal hall, the Tuba police station and the Tuba Elementary School also lie within Baguio’s territory, as shown during the probe conducted by the Senate committee on local governments chaired by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on the third bill filed for the purpose back in 2011.