BALANGA CITY – The sangguniang panlalawigan is set to invite municipal officials of the towns of Bagac and Mariveles for the settlement of a boundary dispute that has remained unresolved for decades.
“It is about time that the controversy be fixed with the planned development of the area in question,” said board member Manuel Beltran, SP chair of the committee on land use.
He said that Vice-Gov. Cris Garcia, SP presiding officer, has asked the opinion of the provincial legal counsel on the matter and requested the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) for an official copy of the map of the province and other documents.
“As soon as we have the necessary documents, we will call both parties for the settlement of the dispute, as much as possible, amicably,” Beltran said.
The Sangguniang Bayan of Bagac has authorized Mayor Rommel Del Rosario to take action on behalf of the municipality in the resolution of the boundary dispute with the municipality of Mariveles.
Municipal administrator Nick Ancheta said Bagac wanted the settlement of the dispute prioritized and what rightly belongs to the municipality be claimed.
He said the contested area of about 400 hectares lies between barangays Biaan in Mariveles and Quinawan in Bagac where a big corporation is planning to put up an economic zone as part of the expansion program of the Freeport Area of Bataan.
Ancheta said it would be better for both municipalities to know where the land in question rightly belongsbefore investors start developing the area. “Mayor Del Rosario and the Bagac SB are asking the SP for the early resolution of the dispute,” he said.
According to Ancheta, the recent discovery of an old landmark (mujon) in the contested land has buttressed their claim. This, even as the private owner of the land has been paying real property tax with the municipal government of Mariveles.
“Is it not proper that payment of taxes be held in trust and the full amount be given to the rightful owner (municipality) after the question on the political boundary is settled?” Ancheta said.