City accepts Baguio Convention Center rehab project

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BAGUIO CITY  – The local government formally accepted the P169 million rehabilitation of the Baguio Convention Center (BCC) following the compliance of the contractors to the punch lists of both the city and the public works department.

City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña said that what was accepted by the local government was the renovations that were implemented by the contractor inside the structure while the ongoing works outside the building that have a project cost of more or less P50 million are still underway.

He disclosed that all the details in the 14-point punch list of Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong and the 33-point punch list of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) were already corrected by the contractor that is why the city decided to accept the completed project for the facility to be used by the government and the private sectors for their future functions once allowed.

The city administrator claimed that the local government had been receiving numerous inquiries on when will be the availability of the city’s convention facility for use in their upcoming conventions and gatherings that is why the city closely coordinated with the DPWH-Car and the contractor for the immediate completion of the project.

He added that the updated manual of operations for the Baguio Convention Center was also forwarded to the local legislative body for the passage of an ordinance that will authorize the city to collect regulatory fees for the use of its facilities.

Dela Peña pointed out that it is important for the local government to maximize the income-generating potentials of the city-owned convention facility to generate resources that could be used by the city for future improvements of the facilities inside the center and continue improving its present condition.

Earlier, the DPWH provided some P180 million for the proposed rehabilitation of the Baguio convention Center in 2018 where the proposed project was to be completed early last year but because of unavoidable suspension of works, the completion of the multi-million project was delayed.

In 2004, the local government offered to the State-owned government Service Insurance Corporation (GSIS) the purchase of the Baguio convention Center which will serve as the city’s premier convention facility with the initial purchase price of P200 million.

The local government used up its initial 25 percent share from the lease rentals from the development of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) amounting to P50 million to pay the down payment for the acquisition of the facility from the GSIS.

Dela Peña revealed that the facility was earlier used by the Association of Local Civil Registrars last march prior to the ECQ and the group’s convention was successful that indicates that there is a bright prospect for the convention center to be an added income generator for the local government because of its identity as one of the premier convention areas in the country.

The ordinance providing for the manual of operations of the facility is pending for second reading and for publication with the local legislative body where public consultations will be conducted through online before the same will be subjected to amendments.

By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis