The Batak communities in Barangays Maoyon and Babuyan have agreed to drop their ancestral property claim over a quarrying operation in the area.

This, after the City Planning Office (CPO) determined, using global positioning system technology, that disputed area falls under the jurisdiction of Barangay Babuyan.

Councilor Jimmy Carbonell, chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, said Monday the issue was finally resolved after an ocular inspection of the area.

“After [the] ocular inspection, nagkasundo naman ang mga katutubong Batak, through their indigenous people (IP) head Dennis Pueyo, na sa Brgy. Babuyan ‘yong area,” Carbonell said.

In November 2019, the Batak community of Maoyon raised its concern against the former quarry concession of Wilborn Realty Corporation (WRC), claiming that the application was coursed in Babuyan.

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Hermenia Bucsit, barangay secretary of Maoyon, referred the concern to the City Zoning and the City Council to mediate on the matter.

“Mariin itong tinututulan ng katutubong Batak,” the position paper said, claiming that the parcel of land was within the “natural boundaries” of Maoyon.

The land dispute does not question any impaired vested right of the IPs but only highlights the revenue that will arise from such commercial applications.

In 2018, a total of P69 million were collected from all quarry operations in the city, making it a potent source of income for barangays that have jurisdiction over such sites.

 

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.