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The tourism department is assisting the city government in acquiring assistance for the proposed rehabilitation of Burnham Park following the garnishment of the earlier funds earmarked by the State-owned Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) for the multi-million project.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat assured city officials the tourism department will assist the city in acquiring support from the international financial institution to pursue the development of the city’s premier tourist destination.
He admitted the government allegedly garnished the P480 million that TIEZA earlier earmarked for Burnham Park’s rehabilitation supposed to be implemented this year but had to be used for the government’s enhanced Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) operations, especially for the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), the Bayanihan grant for local governments and the procurement of test kits and other health requirements of facilities in the country.
Earlier, the tourism department and the city government entered into a memorandum of agreement for the downloading of the P480 million for the rehabilitation of the 34-hectare Burnham Park complex.
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One of the thrusts of the present administration the revitalization of the tourism industry with the rehabilitation of major tourism destinations to bring back the vibrance of the local tourism industry after being heavily impacted by the wrath of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic.
The city commissioned a group of consultants that prepared the proposed architectural design of the rehabilitation of the Burnham Park complex as one of the supporting documents that facilitated the allocation of the budget from the TIEZA.
The mayor expressed his gratitude to Secretary Puyat for extending the needed assistance to the city for the proposed rehabilitation of major tourist destinations and in the promotion and marketing of the city’s tourism that has been affected by the implementation of the community quarantine to combat the effect of the deadly virus.
According to him, the proposed opening up of the city’s tourism industry by September remains conditional on the state of COVID-19 in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the possibility of a second wave of the virus in the city.
The city and the Baguio Tourism Council (BTC) are closely working together for the possible re-branding of the city’s tourism to embrace the now normal in the country’s hospitality industry because tourism is one of the least priority sectors that will open after the wrath of the global pandemic.
He stated the city will support the initiative of the private sector and other concerned stakeholders to help in revitalizing the city’s tourism industry for it to rebound from the serious negative impact of the pandemic.
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis
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