Play on words

A multiple use forest watershed, so is Camp John Hay described in its website. Would anyone please define ‘multiple use forest watershed’?

Because as far as locals are concerned Camp John Hay is a declared protected area, a watershed where City residents source their water from.

How can a protected area, a watershed at that, re-declared as a ‘special economic zone’? Would anyone explain this?

Developers were allowed entry into the Camp in the name of local growth particularly in employment.

But if there are any group of people disenfranchised by the redevelopment, these are the locals. What percentage of total employment in the former military base are locals? Just a third. Because to get employed one has got to be competitive, regardless of residence (or gender, or class). The question therefore that underpins the City’s problem of employment is the competitiveness of its labor force. Not to mention City Hall’s apparent lack of knowledge of the strengths of the City.

What percentage of owners of housing units in the Camp are locals? So. Redevelopment of the area cannot be argued for local housing. The problem of local housing backlog is in no way improved by the redevelopment.

Why is City Hall, in the face of the continuing disregard of the nature of the CJH area, watching idly? Why isn’t it slapping CJH DevCo and the BCDA with the rape of a protected area?

How come developers even the supposedly enlightened didn’t restrain, refrain from, or inhibit themselves from their plans? Why build on a watershed?

A watershed, for goodness sake!

Baguio City by its location and physical attributes is unlike other cities in the Philippines. Its uniqueness is the source of both its charm and vulnerability. It is vulnerable in the sense that it is relatively isolated and far from surface waters (i.e. alternative and cheaper water supply). When the supply of aquifers is depleted the alternative is to dig deeper. Digging deeper into the earth for water is highly risky and expensive, for a mountain city.

Who are going to bear the ugly costs of disenfranchisement and desertification if not locals? People and organizations who have properties in the Camp could always desert the place when necessary. Because the City is not their home, only a service – cool air (for the time being) – they are willing to pay for.

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