The John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC), a member of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), signed at the Bell House a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Camp John Hay barangays Happy Hallow, and Hillside for the establishment and maintenance of firelines within the John Hay Forest Reservation last March 26, 2012.
Under the MOA, the barangays adjacent to, or are situated within, the forest reservation will establish firelines with a total area of 39,450 square meters to stop, slow the advance of, or confine the forest fires in the reservation. The total area of the firelines is broken down as follows: 24,820 square meters in Happy Hallow, 5,130 square meters in Lower Dagsian, 4,500 square meters in Scout Barrio, and 5,000 square meters in Hillside. JHMC will in turn provide the P394,500 budget for the project. Workers for the project will be selected by the respective barangays. The project will be implemented next month.
The John Hay Forest Reservation is the largest watershed of Baguio City and adjacent areas and its protection is one of the mandates of JHMC. The establishment of firelines is one of the measures being undertaken by JHMC and the CJH barangays to preserve the forest watershed.
JHMC VP Dimalanta was quoted as saying, “I appeal that we set aside whatever legal issues and questions we have at the moment. What’s important today is the protection/preservation of our forest and watershed because forest fires know no boundaries. In fact, environmental benefits or destructive effects know no boundaries. If we protect this forest, we stand to benefit from it tremendously. However, if we neglect to protect it, we all stand to suffer and lose. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
Meanwhile, Hillside Punong Barangay Buccad remarked, “We thank JHMC and BCDA for coming up with this project which will not only protect the forest watershed but will also protect the communities within the John Hay Reservation.”