o continuously conserve and restore the Baguio Animal Breeding Research Center (BABRC) for ecological balance and agriculture, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has partnered with the Police Regional Office-Cordillera (PRO-COR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – CAR, City Government of Baguio, and the Dontogan Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) on October 29, 2021 at Mt. Kalbo, BABRC, Dontogan, Baguio City.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, DA-CAR OIC-Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey, DENR Regional Director Ralph Pablo, PRO-COR Director Ronald Lee, and Dontogan Barangay Captain Renato Bongcog signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the continuing initiative in the BABRC.
During the activity which was personally witnessed and presided by Sec. Dar, he stressed that “At all cost, we will protect that property and we have to partner with the institutions to make it possible”. He is grateful that the said partnership was now cemented with the MOA signing activity as he recognized the strong support of all stakeholders.
The BABRC which is a government property consists of 94.13 hectares (941,343 square meters) and is reserved for animal breeding purposes through Presidential Proclamation No. 603. It also functions as an integrated research, training, and technology demonstration center, laboratory, agro-tourism center, and dairy center.
For the previous years until the present, the Center is facing battles from claimants invoking rights over the property, illegal squatters, and trespassers. The illegal squatting and encroachments of the claimants lead to the destruction of biodiversity. Some activities done were cutting of trees, improvements of lands for the utilization of vegetable production, construction of infrastructure, titling and subtitling of portions of land within the Proclamation (PP 603), forcible armed intrusions, and land excavations. These encroached and destructed areas are ecological preserve under the Master Development Plan of the BABRC. Hence, the MOA with partner agencies and LGUs (Baguio City and Barangay Dontogan) is seen to strengthen and increase awareness on the protection and conservation of the flora and fauna present within the area.
Sec. Dar also looks forward to a partnership with the City Government of Baguio in terms of developing the BABRC as agri-ecological tourism that the people can actually visit and appreciate given its potential.
The Agri Chief also presided over the Usufruct Agreement Signing between the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) represented by its OIC-Director Dr. Reildren G. Morales and the City Government of Baguio represented by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong.
“The City Government of Baguio is very committed to preserve this area for it is our moral responsibility. I never imagined that we still have such a place in Baguio,” expressed Mayor Magalong.
All stakeholders, during their statement of commitments, vowed to help and assist in ensuring the safety, conservation, and restoration of the BABRC in line with their duties and responsibilities for the benefit, not only of Baguio City, but the Cordillera region.
A ceremonial tree planting was conducted to complete the cemented partnership. This is also part of the continuing joint tree planting activities of the DA-CAR and other line agencies in the BABRC particularly in Mt. Kalbo.//