Save Baguio’s Heritage Sites — Vergara

BAGUIO CITY –“We should save Baguio’s heritage sites and other areas that hold importance for our city’s residents,” former Baguio Representative Bernardo Vergara said during a barangay meeting over the weekend, Vergara said that these heritage sites should be preserved , not only for their importance as they are as traditional sites, but also for their historical significance.

“There are many places in Baguio that need protection, not only from unneeded ‘development,’ but more to keep them in their natural or former state as heritage sites,” he pointed out.

Vergara cited the case of the BIBAK (Benguet, Ifugao, Bontoc, Apayao and Kalinga) dormitory, which, he said, should be restored to its original purpose – to provide shelter to Cordillera indigenous sons and daughters who are studying here in Baguio, so they will not endure hardships as city boarders.

It was learned that informal settlers have been occupying the area. These informal settlers should be relocated, Vergara said, saying that a housing program is a must and timely in the situation.

The post office must also be preserved as a heritage site, given its part in Baguio’s history, according to Vergara. But whatever restoration and renovation is made should be in consultation with the owner of the place, Philippine Postal Authority, he said.

“As for the Baden Powell Hall, which housed the Philippine Commission that held sessions here in Baguio at the turn of the last century, and which gave our city its charter, it is said to know that it has become a private property,” he said.

“We should make appropriate representations with the owner to encourage its preservation,” Vergara suggested.

“Let us not forget, however, that these are local government concerns, and when espoused as your next congressman, let us respect our local government decisions. The most that I can do is to champion the hope and endorse to the next city council that they will update its provisions in line with present-day situations,” he added. Thom Picana/