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The city will be expanding the areas within the 34-hectare Burnham Park complex that will be developed by the funds from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong stated that the additional areas that must be developed from the P100 million funds and the P400 million earmarked for the Burnham Park development project should include portions of the Rose Garden, Ibaloi Park, orchidarium, skating rink and the Pine Trees of the World.
He added that the P400 million earlier earmarked by the TIEZA for the development of the children’s Park, Burnham Lake and Melvin Jones football field is already available but the additional P100 million will still have to be sourced out to cover all the proposed improvements in the aforesaid portions of the city’s premier park.
The local chief executive pointed out that the city will use the funds to be source out from concerned government agencies to jumpstart the implementation of significant development projects within certain portions of the park to help in the gradual and safe revival of the heavily impacted local tourism industry.
Earlier, the local legislative body approved the Burnham Park comprehensive master development plan with a total budgetary requirement of P3.3 billion for the upgrading and improvement of the various portions of the park aimed at boosting the status of the city as one of the premier tourist destinations in the country.
According to him, the city can only afford to request the additional P100 million for the proposed development in the identified income-generating areas of the park for the city’s additional source of revenue aside from providing new attractions for visitors.
He claimed the other proposed development projects in the city’s major destination will be implemented when the pandemic situation improves.
The approved Burnham Park comprehensive master development plan is the blueprint of development initiatives in the city’s premier tourist destination.
Executive Order No. 695, series of 2008 issued by former President and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gave full authority to the local government to administer, manage and operate the 34-hectare Burnham Park complex.
The issuance of the aforesaid order was the national government’s gift to Baguio City when it celebrated its centennial anniversary on September 1, 1909 when the Philippine Commission approved the city’s charter.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis