RESIDENTS in the Busol forest reserve are pushing for the segregation of a portion of the reserve for use as a residential area.
The federation of settlers led by Atty. Bernard Padang has written to Congressman Mark Go, seeking the filing of a bill that would segregate the populated Workingmen’s Village from the forest reservation explicitly for residential purposes.
The federation is also asking the city council to act on their plight and push for the segregation of the said portion of the watershed for their use.
The Workingmen’s Village stretches to some parts of Barangays Ambiong-Baguio, East Bayan, Brookspoint, and Pacdal.
The Ambiong-Baguio, East Bayan, Brookspoint, Pacdal, and Peripheries (ABEBBPAP) Federation of residents, established in 2019, claims that the residents of the said portion of land in the forest reserve are descended from four land claimants whose claims allegedly precede Proclamation No. 15, which declared the Busol Forest Reservation.
The federation also claims that Proclamation No. 15 recognizes the claims of the four claimants in question.
However, a 2014 Supreme Court decision stated that the proclamation “merely identifies the Molintas and Gumangan families as claimants of a portion of the Busol Forest Reservation but does not acknowledge vested rights over the same.”
112 hectares of the Busol watershed is located within the jurisdiction of the city.