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[ Baguio City ] No building permit for GSIS forest

Monday, August 24, 2009 [ ]

By Rimaliza Opiña

MAYOR Reinaldo Bautista Jr. declared that the City Government is standing by its position of not issuing any permit to SM Development Corporation (SMDC).

This is if SMDC attempts to get one for the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) pine stands adjacent to the Baguio Convention Center.

“We maintain our stand,” the mayor said over attempts of the GSIS to seek approval of the use of the pine stand as the site for the Baguio Air Residences, a condotel being proposed by SMDC.

Bautista said the City Legal Office is now preparing its answer to the civil suit filed against some city officials by the GSIS brass. “They have already submitted their answer to the declaratory relief, which the insurance agency is also seeking.”

SMDC has not officially asked for a permit for the building’s construction but asked for clarification about the lot’s status at the City Planning and Development Office.

The area is classified as a park.

The mayor maintained city officials are merely implementing an ordinance which classified the area as a park and thus no high rise building could be built there.

Last week, the city officials submitted their answer to the petition for declaratory relief.

City officials said the petition is defective and premature for failing to exhaust all administrative remedies before going to court.

They also pointed out no building or zoning clearance was denied because SMDC never applied for either.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 25, 2009.


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