BAGUIO CITY – Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Monday, September 5, said he will push for the development of open spaces at Burnham Park to be able to maintain the city’s premier park as a self-sustaining asset.
He reiterated that the local government unit (LGU) of Baguio will not seek loan assistance to be able to implement the planned development.
The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) system is still the best way of project implementation for the LGU, he stressed.
Domogan explained that obtaining a loan will only burden the next administration.
“I am allergic to loan proposals that is why I made it a point for the city not to enter into loan agreements because it will be unfair to future city officials to be inheriting debts of previous administrations,” he said.
“We have to maximize the benefits of the government’s PPP program for us to be able to realize our desired projects that will benefit our people,” he said.
Domogan was referring to the construction of a parking building beside the Baguio Athletic Bowl, which at present, is being utilized by the LGU as a pay parking area.
The building will house a two-storey pay parking area and commercial stalls that will augment funds needed for the maintenance of the park.
Domogan said that in order to operate and manage the 34-hectare park, the LGU spends at least PHP40 million for it annually.
Income derived from park concessionaires amounts to about PHP12 million yearly, which means that the city is heavily subsidizing the operation of the park.
Burnham Park is owned by the national government through the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), formerly known as the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA), but is being managed by the LGU of Baguio City, Domogan said.
The national government turned over to the LGU the administration, operation and management of Burnham Park but the title of the property remains with TIEZA.
Any development to be introduced in the park will have to go through TIEZA for approval. PNA/northboundasia.com