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Baguio plans to develop its housing and business zones.

BAGUIO CITY, PHILIPPINES — The municipal administration is looking at 19 more sites in Baguio, La Trinidad, Sablan, and Tuba for socialized housing, employee housing, and economic activity, and land banking programs.

Aileen Refuerzo, Baguio’s chief information officer, said on Tuesday that the city is also purchasing a six-hectare land in Topinao, Poblacion, and Tuba in Benguet for various industrial and socialized housing projects, in addition to the 19 properties.

During a meeting of the local government’s executive committee, City Assessor Maria Almaya Addawe stated that the price range of the properties given by the owners for probable acquisition by the city is between PHP13 million to PHP348 million.

According to Addawe, the city’s land banking plan will address Baguio’s tiny land area, which prevents the implementation of diverse social and economic activities in the face of rising property prices in Benguet’s surrounding towns.

The city had to turn down the extension of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in Baguio a few years ago.

Texas Instruments Philippines, a US firm that makes microchips for electronic products, had to relocate its growth to Clark, Pampanga because the city could not supply enough space for the company’s needs.

She stated that the city intends to promote economic activity and provide appropriate sources of income for inhabitants and those from adjacent communities.

“The city’s local finance committee has until the first week of July to recommend which of the available properties should be recommended for purchase by the local government to be used for socialized housing, employee housing, and land banking initiatives that will allow the next generation of additional resources in the future,” Refuerzo said.

A 1.45-hectare land in Tam-Awan and Pinsao Proper worth PHP61 million; a 2.9-hectare property in Lucnab worth more than PHP104 million; a 2.7-hectare property in Balacbac worth PHP261 million; and another 1.8-hectare property in Balacbac worth PHP127 million, all in Baguio City, were offered to the city for possible purchase by the owners.

A 3.5-hectare property in Longlong, Puguis, La Trinidad, worth PHP157 million; a property in Lamtang, Puguis, La Trinidad, covered by agrarian reform titles; a PHP4.8-hectare property in Alno, La Trinidad, worth PHP13 million; and several properties in Taloy Taloy Sur, Taloy Norte, and Poblacion, Tuba, and in Bayabas, Sablan, all in Benguet, are also included.

All of the properties on the market are covered by certificate titles, albeit there are some concerns with the titles of some of them that the owners are working to resolve.

According to the source, the city government is considering purchasing some private properties both within and outside of the city’s authority.

Other property owners have expressed an interest in selling to the city as a result of the city’s interest in purchasing assets for its various programs.

She stated that all of the properties will be assessed and evaluated for their suitability to the local government’s initiatives and projects.

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