BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance formulating the comprehensive development plan of the Burnham Park reservation.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon stated that the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) and City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) will be tasked to formulate the comprehensive development of Burnham Park.
Further, the concerned offices of the local government will closely coordinate with the Cordillera office of the Department of Tourism (DOT-CAR), the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA), Philippine Institute of Environment Planners (PIEP) Northern Luzon chapter and other concerned agencies to formulate plans and undertake the necessary measures in preserving and protecting Burnham Park.
Yaranon said that the Tourism Act of 2009 states that the State shall promote a tourism industry that is ecologically sustainable, responsible, participative, culturally sensitive, economically viable, and ethically and socially equitable for local communities; encourage activities and programs which promote tourism awareness, preserve the country’s diverse cultures and heritage, and instill essence of history and a culture of tourism among the youth and the populace; ensure that tourism development protects and promotes the general well-being of the Filipino people, particularly in the area of investment, to include the monitoring and prevention of any act of profiteering or speculation to the detriment of local residents, as well as the exploitation of women and children in tourism.
The ordinance noted that the Burnham Park reservation is the city’s pride of place and its premier tourist destination.
It can be recalled that Executive Order No. 224, series of 1995 transferred the administration, maintenance, management and operation of the Burnham Park reservation from the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) to the local government.
Moreover, Executive Order No. 695 of 2009 authorized the local government to have full control of the administration, operation, management, maintenance and further development of the Burnham Park reservation which contains 328,394.39 square meters land area.
The ordinance stipulated that several facilities and features were developed inside the Burnham Park reservation that provide comfort, convenience and services to the general public like Burnham Lake, Childrens Park playground, skating rink, Rose Garden and the Burnham bust, orchidarium, Igorot Garden, Melvin Jones Grandstand and football ground, old auditorium parking area, Baguio Athletic Bowl, tennis courts, picnic groove, Japanese peace tower, Pine Trees of the World, Sunshine Park, swimming pool complex and Ibaloi heritage garden.
The ordinance stipulated there were a number of proposals submitted by different proponents signifying to build structures within the Burnham Park reservation which had been presented in a series of public consultations, thus, the need for the formulation of a comprehensive development for the park which will validate the collective aspirations of the people of the city for the preservation, protection and development of the park.
By Dexter A. See