Letter urging Mayor James Pooten Jr to consider recommendations before proceeding with the P150 million loan application
September 25, 2020
Hon JAMES POOTEN JR
Sagada, Mountain Province
Hon FELICITO DULA
Presiding Chairman/Vice Mayor
Mr RAYMUNDO BASCO
Municipal Local Interior and Government Officer
Mr ALBERT GALUT
Land Bank of the Philipines- Lending Center
Tabuk City, Kalinga
Comments from social media particularly Sagada Reports Facebook group ensued from the plan of the local government unit of Sagada to purchase a 30 hectare lot at sitio Kanip-aw along with the construction of a 5 storey government centre with finance to be sourced from a Land Bank loan the amount of P150 million pesos.
The Sangguniang Bayan in a resolution dated July 27, 2020 authorized Mayor James Pooten Jr to enter into a P150 million loan from Land Bank in pursuance of the LGU’s government and proprietary operations. Said resolution also authorized the mayor to enter into a deed of sale or any mode of ownership transfer of a 30 hectare tax-declared private lot here at sitio Kanip-aw.
Recommendations herein are respectfully forwarded to Sagada Mayor James Pooten Jr for his appropriate action relative to the above before said loan application proceeds and purchase of lot located at Kanip-aw.
Of paramount request is the conduct of a public consultation on the issue at hand before proceeding with the loan application and agreement among other concerns as installation of good water system serviceable and responsive to all as more of a priority, conduct of consultations with affected land owners, conduct of a sound feasibility plan and other major questions as where to source payment of the loan in question.
- SOUND WATER SYSTEM
Sagada holds a story of many water projects among of which is Boasao waterworks that began since the 1970s but has since then never reached the main town. The latest of which is the beleagured P36million gone P38 milion Boasaw waterworks that started in 2012 meant for domestic use for 15 barangays and partly for irrigation of Tanulong. The domestic water intentions of the waterworks project was never realized till now.
Sagada currently is dependent on clustered water systems where 5-25 households share one water spring and access the waters alternately. Dagdag for one has some 20 clustered water sources mostly sourced from Pilaw, Malebelba, Danonoy among others. This water system is evident with hoses tied together along pathways obviously showing that one spring services how many households.Maintenance fee of 100 to 200 pesos is collected from household users where the maintenance man usually the owner of the land where the spring is located is the one who sees to it that waters shall reach a tapping point for households to alternately connect their individual hoses to their homes.
It stands that clustered water systems is the way on how water is accessed nowadays, and that it so since the Mission waters sourced from Danonoy were tapped and centralized ‘sakduwan’ (water stations) located at Tangeb, Dagdag and Patay are not anymore in the 1980s till now.
Most of these springs are not built with reservoirs and so when the rains come, the waters get dirtied up and the muddied water reaches the homes like that muddy and murky. There are only a few projects with reservoirs particularly that of the Bottoms UP Budgetting (BUB) water projects then a few years back.
Plastic hoses are vulnerable too, to being burned when forest fires occur like what happened with hoses along the Danonoy pathway when the mountains of Danonoy and Pakad were burned a year ago.
Where this is the system that works stands that reservoirs are needed at the source along with installation of resistant plastic or GI tubes.
Otherwise, a centralized water system was and is still a dream till now with the changing of administrations who never realized such, even with a P36 million fund from Senator Guingona and Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP) in 2012. A water district or barangay water and sanitation association (BAWASAs) remain a dream too.
Such hankered water systems are doable. With a committed leadership and employees and elected officials to make it happen for they are the ones in government who have the resources.
Soledad Longid …What Sagada needs is an HONEST TO GOODNESS WATER SYSTEM FOR ALL, not another.munisipyo! That can wait. And waste management system.
VkLiz Malinias Now this new proposed loan if they could consider "water district" project tay aye enggana id kasin danum nan problema,kasano kami pay ay mid kagapowana dat wada nan menloslosoy di danum na..high time to look after this,dat umado nan ipogaw id Sagada not to mention being a tourists distination,I think water is still the main problem yet to be solved..
- CONSULTATIONS AMONG AFFECTED LAND OWNERS
With this proposed 30 hectares lot to be purchased from a private land owner in Kanip-aw, stands that adjacent land owners shall be affected when the purchase happens. Would be prudent to consider the following suggestions:
Benjamin Longid Waay gag-awis ay matotya nan wada overlapping tax declarations dassa, madetermine nan private claimants, maayos nan deeds of sale or donation dat masecure nan LGU properly before anything else…..sapay maikkan whatever transaction with LGU to secure the area. Then finally manemnem ay gawis no ngan di ikkan di munisipyo.
Fely Capuyan Omengan May i suggest that the said lot to be purchased be fenced first by the vendor. To see if there won't be claimants to the lot. Or depende no ngan tulagan yu with the vendor re the cost of the perimeter fence.
- PUBLIC CONSULTATION/HEARING
The need for public consultations was forwarded in a number of comments from social media and public conversations. Public consultation is a basic, paramount and democratic need to do before any development is done in a locality. This is much emphasized in the 1991 Local Government Code.
Section 3 of the Local Government Code provides for Operative Principles of Decentralization including among others the following operative principles in accordance with public consultations:
(j) Effective mechanisms for ensuring the accountability of local government units to their respective constituents shall be strengthened in order to upgrade continually the quality of local leadership.
(l) The participation of the private sector in local governance, particularly in the delivery of basic services, shall be encouraged to ensure the viability of local autonomy as an alternative strategy for sustainable development.
Steven Edward Rogers Would they really make a commitment on that scale without public consultations?
Gay Manodon Before any big plans, the whole community should be involved. Our priority is water, and for the revival of the economy. This plans pagtutungtungan pay umun-una. Adi umununa nan loan. No Loan unless the community understands the reason for said action.
Much more so as provided in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), indigenous peoples particularly the tribe/s of Sagada have to be consulted via the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process before any project is done within their ancestral domains.
Florence Umaming Manzano I go back to IPRA… an FPIC is required in all projects governed by iSagada custom laws and rules.
Some discussions with some barangay officials noted their suggestion that barangay- based consultations be done especially so where affected land owners within the Kanip-aw area come from Ambasing, Demang, Dagdag and Patay barangays.
Consultations including women and youth is significant.
Dom-an Macagne it is well to include the youth in the consultation and decision-making... and not to forget women's perspectives in the decisions and plans too
- DEVELOPMENT PLAN AND FEASIBILITY STUDY
With a wide space as a 30 hectare lot, development be done only when a feasibility study and a development plan is in place with the primary need first to locate where the lot is actually located with no protesting land owners.
The local government’s projected program plans are an agricultural demo farm, animal breeding and production areas, materials recovery facility, sanitary land fill, nursery and housing as originally intended followed up by recommendations from the Sangguniang Bayan namely construction of a water system, road access, helipad, legislative building, youth center, centralized terminal center, motor pool, sports complex, cultural center, materials recovery facility (MRF) and a livelihood training center on proposed lot for purchase.
What among said plans would be feasible where the terrain is rocky. Is a sports complex with an oval be feasible? With the agri-based projects ask the question where to source the water. Another question posed is the distance from the main town to the proposed lot for the building of a government center. Will a hospital and an MRF be feasible where water might or could be lacking. Shall it bring more environmental issues to the immediate environment and the communities and dwellings located below. These among other questions are best answered by a feasibility study to make future development plans useful, beneficial and acceptable by the people of the Sagada. Particularly, reference on environmental laws is necessary.
Among other suggestions are an eco-tourism park,a recreational area, a conference center that could accommodate some three thousand participants, and a shared vegetable processing facility, where farmers could turn perishable crops into durable premium-branded products like pickles, jams, kimchi, tomato sauce, sauerkraut, etc.
With respect to the need for a processing facility, it has been demonstrated that a food processing center is needed to help farmers in their prolific vegetable produce which has in the present proved and highlighted in the midst of the pandemic to be lacking of marketing opportunities.
So with a spacious conference hall that has for quite some time a need in Sagada and Mountain Province as a whole.
That is, a more ‘wholistic and regenerative development design’’ for the 30 hectare area vis a vis development of Sagada ta lumawlawaan dadlo organized public space ( Dom-an Macagne)
Marlene A. Estangki Ay dan kega gawgawis no esten da ay eco tourism park?
Em Sana Nan sanitary landfill masapol gdan masurot nan plano ay usto with due consideration to the laws implemented by EMB (Environmental Management Bureau) of DENR.
Steven Edward Rogers If there's one facility I think would be useful it would be a shared vegetable processing facility, where farmers could turn perishable crops into durable premium-branded products like pickles, jams, kimchi, tomato sauce, sauerkraut, etc. That might provide real value.
Jed Angway eco tourism, recreational area, agricutural center masapol maplano ay gawis sa tapno awnit gawis si men banagana...
Other comments ensued from how the Kanip-aw project was conceptualized to how the P150 loan shall be paid to an SB resolution that adopted an NCIP national advisory to stop, prohibit any transaction dealing with the sale of lands in ancestral domains.
Florence Umaming Manzano Wondering how the kanip-aw project was determined?
Richard Yodong …is this what the people of Sagada really NEED?..and at this time of pandemic?.. What is it's impact on the lives of the people?.. Yes we don't have a domestic water system to support our tourism industry and solid waste management yet in place..What if they work first to upgrade the classification of our municipality instead of being a 5th class municipality forever?..is there a scheme how to redeem the ROI?
Conrad Aben siya nan danag unless the lgu is going into some negosyo that makes millions annually ta wada mibayad ta adi tako ikalo is kaat ay tawen aye pay d 150 million plus interest dat kaat lang collection d sagada is ibayad tako
Gina Dizon Adipay ngen ma- iapply nan nay SB resolution "Adopting the national advisory 001--08-2020 re: stop, prohibit and report any transaction, dealing, negotiation of selling and transfer of lands within the ancestral domains of Sagada .." isnan nay projected buy/sale id Kanip-aw?
Also please find attached the full comments and suggestions as found in Sagada Reports Facebook group.
Your response on the above comments and suggestions is much appreciated before considering any final agreement on the loan applied for. Please forward your response to the official Facebook Page of the LGU, Sagada Municipality or/and to Sagada Reports.