Posted in Country snapshots

Reclaiming the BIBAK Lot at Harrison Road, Baguio City

 

BIBAK lot along Harrison Road
The demolition of illegally built structures at the BIBAK lot located along Harrison Road on October 18, 2017.

A lot located along Harrison Road  measuring about 5,000 square meters was segregated by the government from the Original Certificate Title (OCT) No. 1 in favor of the BIBAK Dormitories Inc. in 1961.  The lot was intended to build a dormitory way back in 1960’s to cater to the housing needs of students from the Cordillera studying in the city and other parts of Benguet.

In 1955, the centralized BIBAK Student Officers Association in Baguio City and from the Mountain Agricultural College in La Trinidad, Benguet passed a resolution requesting President Ramon Magsaysay for a site in Baguio City for the construction of a dormitory and requesting funds for its construction. This was channeled thru Gov. Bado Dangwa of the old Mountain Province handing it to the President. It was then forwarded by the President for action to the Mayor of Baguio City Alfonso Tabora and the proclamation was made.

BIBAK is the acronym used by students and other associations of the old Mountain Province before the Cordillera region was created.  The five (5) sub-provinces of the old Mountain Province were Benguet, Ifugao, Bontoc, Apayao and Kalinga.

In 1987, the Cordillera Administrative Region was created  under EO N0. 220 joining the Provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao, Mountain Province and the chartered city of Baguio. BIBAK then was also expanded to BIMAAK which now includes the Province of Abra and to replace Bontoc with Mt. Province. The BIMAAK is now the term used by the local and international Cordillera Organizations for its identity and unity.

During our high school and college days in the City of Baguio in the 1970’s to 1980’s, most BIBAK students rented boarding houses that were crowded with no security measures and amenities.

Educational institutions like Saint Louis University, University of Baguio, Baguio Colleges Foundation had BIBAK student’s organizations who had been making resolutions for the development of the BIBAK lot but put to waste because of the squabble and politics.

Until this time, unscrupulous people and businessmen who only thinks of profit were there playing with politicians. Education should have been the priority of the planners and organizers of this project but the business was about money. The business should have been for public good and not for private greed.

BIBAK lot 1 along Harrison Road
The City Police and the Bureau of Fire Department enforce the demolition of the structures built illegally. 

Many times the City Government attempted to dismantle the structures built illegally by the informal settlers or squatters but failed. The informal settlers have been doing business at the BIBAK property and even given extensions many times to the detriment of those who should have used it. Other influential people or groups even tried to maneuver taking  the lot intended for their own interest in the name of the Cordillera autonomy.

The BIBAK lot should have been the site for a students dorm or a multi-purpose center, cultural workshop center, and other structures that will provide a healthy, comfortable and convenient space to stay.

An online petition by the BIBAK Students Dormitories, Inc. on change.org

On June 28,  1973, the following great leaders – Ben Palispis, Andres A. Cosalan, Alfredo G. Lam-en, Damaso Bangaoet, Samuel Dangwa, Sinai C. Hamada, Olga Muller Braddy, Inocencio Maliaman and Moises P. Cating registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the BIBAK STUDENTS DORMITORIES, INC.

This corporation was primarily formed to “IN TRUST, to own, possess, administer, operate, maintain, manage and supervise the BIBAK STUDENTS DORMITORIES, INC., including all the assets, accessories as well as other properties of said BIBAK STUDENTS DORMITORIES, INC., within the City of Baguio and elsewhere in the Philippines for the benefit, welfare and advancement principally of cultural minority or native students coming from the provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and Abra x x x”

This corporation “seek ways and means to provide for healthful, comfortable and convenient accommodations for students belonging to the national cultural minorities of the Philippines who are enrolled in the educational institutions in the City of Baguio.”

The BIBAK Lot measuring 5,000 square meters was segregated from Original Certificate Title 1 in favor of the BIBAK STUDENT DORMITORIES, Inc in 1961 to cater to the housing needs of the students coming from the BIBAK areas.

At present, the BIBAK LOT is being illegally occupied by more or less FIFTY (50) private individuals, who entered the property without permission from proper authorities, depriving our children and students of their right and privilege to a housing facility in the City of Baguio;

These squatters do not belong to the marginalized sector as they claim with the Philippine Commission on Urban Poor (PCUP) since they had also utilized the area for business and profit;

NOW…

It is high time to reclaim the BIBAK LOT and utilize it based on the INTENTS AND WISDOM of the FOUNDERS;

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Loves nature and simple living.

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