Ilocos Norte board reiterates call to resolve boundary dispute with Apayao

LAOAG CITY — Owing to a change of leadership, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP or Provincial Board) has reiterated its call for the concerned authorities of Apayao to finally resolve their boundary dispute that is causing division among residents of Sitio Bucarot which is claimed by both provinces.

In a draft resolution unanimously passed by the board on Sept. 26, Provincial Board member Vicentito Lazo who sponsored the resolution, expressed hope that the new set of Apayao board members will honor Ilocos Norte’s call for a joint session the soonest possible time.

On April 21, 2014, the same resolution was adopted and approved by the Ilocos Norte board, but the Apayao board did not heed the request.

According to Lazo, the long-dragging boundary dispute between Ilocos Norte and Apayao over sitio Bucarot has resulted in a stalemate between the two provinces, hence, the need to resolve it through amicable or legal means to avoid unwarranted repercussions.

The Local Government Code under Section 118 states that “boundary disputes involving municipalities or component cities of different provinces shall be referred for settlement to the Sanggunians of the provinces concerned.” However, if the Sanggunian fails to settle the issue within 60 days from the date the dispute was referred to concerned authorities, the dispute can be elevated in higher court.

To date, both the municipal governments of Calanasan in Apayao and Adams in Ilocos Norte have their own sets of local officials in the area with two barangay halls, basketball courts and other government facilities.