City to use convention center for Charter Day rites

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BAGUIO CITY  – The local government will use the newly refurbished Baguio Convention Center (BCC) as the venue for the celebration of the 110th Charter Day anniversary of Baguio City, the country’s undisputed Summer Capital.

City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña said that based on his recent meetings with officials of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) and the contractor, there was assurance from them that the ongoing works will be completed on or before August 15, 2019 that will allow the local government to use the facility by September 1, 2019.

Baguio City will be celebrating its 110th Charter Day anniversary on September 1, 2019 and the city government is currently preparing the month-long activities for the said celebration.

Dela Peña claimed the contractor is working on the finishing touches of the programmed works for the multi-million project to meet the completion date of the rehabilitation of the city-owned convention facility.

Earlier, the local government was got P180 million from the DPWH through the initiative of former Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan and City Planning and Development Coordinator Evelyn G. Cayat for the rehabilitation of the city-owned premier convention facility.

The project was supposed to have been completed in February this year but because of a series of work suspension due to issues raised on the programmed works, the same was extended up to August 15, 2019.

The previous city officials questioned the DPWH-CAR on the sudden scrapping of the provision for a mezzanine within the main convention facility that was supposed to be an added space to accommodate more people in the said venue, in contravention of the design prepared by the local government, in coordination with private architects and designers, that was used by the agency in biding out the project.

However, DPWH-CAR officials defended the scrapping of the mezzanine in the rehabilitation plan because of issues on the structural integrity of the building as the local government did present the original plans of the structure that would have allowed DPWH technical personnel to determine the necessary added beams or posts to support the added weight on the foundation of the building.

In 2004, the local government, the State-owned Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) entered into a tripartite agreement for the city to purchase the Baguio Convention Center from the GSIS using the city’s share from the lease rentals of the 247-hectare John Hay Economic Zone (JHSEZ) as its payment on a staggered basis with the amount of P50 million as the initial down payment until the full payment of the P200 million agreed purchase price of the facility including the 1-hectare area surrounding the structure.

By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis

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