AFTER a long delay, the Baguio City government has finally moved forward in the purchase of a city property in Barangay North Sanitary Camp with the confirmation of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the city government and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM).
The said property is where the Baguio sewage treatment plant (STP) is located.
The lot, which covers some 6,332 square meters of land, was intended to be acquired by the city government much earlier, but the process was stalled by a case filed by the National Power Corporation (NPC) against the city government before the Regional Trial Court Branch 61 for the recovery of possession of real properties with damages, including back rentals. The case is still pending in court. Baguio’s government and legal office earlier attempted to progress the acquisition of the lot by petitioning the NPC to dismiss the case but without success.
However, the city’s legal office said that once the transfer is completed, the NTC case would be dropped.
While the process of acquiring the lot has resumed, the Baguio City Council is looking into ironing out the kinks in the MOA, which some councilors claim have terms that are disadvantageous for the city government.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda expressed objection to the provision of the MOA requiring the Baguio City Council to pass a resolution stating that the city government “has no more claims, causes of action, charges, assessments, and other collectibles from PSALM upon the execution of the Deed of Transfer and Conveyance.” The claims and collectibles are real property taxes collected by the city government on the lot, which Tabanda said should be paid for and not waived as the PSALM is asking.
“If they own the property, why should they not be subjected to real property tax? it is not fair on the part of the city. I do not like the city to be at a disadvantage,” Tabanda said.