BAGUIO CITY – The local government wants the Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) and the contractor of the city-owned Baguio convention Center to turnover the facility to the city by the end of February instead of April as earlier agreed upon by the concerned parties.
City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña said that there are already numerous requests from different groups wanting to use the facility for their gatherings that are pending in his office, thus, the need for the contractor to already turnover the convention center to the city for the same to be used considering the lapse of time that it has not been used.
He said that while there are still various issues that had been raised by the local government on the overall quality of the materials used in the rehabilitation of the facility, the same will be addressed by continuous dialogue and coordination with the DPWH-CAR and the contractor for the institution of the necessary corrective measures to improve the state of the city’s premier convention center.
He disclosed that one of the major events that had already been booked in the convention center is the upcoming gathering of local civil registrars on March 9, 2020 wherein some 2,000 civil registrars from the different parts of the country will converge in the city for their annual convention in time for the celebration of the Civil Registration Month.
The city administrator claimed that all the issues that had been raised on the rehabilitation of the city-owned convention facility were appropriately discussed and deliberated upon by the representatives of the concerned parties that is why what is important is all concerned matters will be given the needed attention from the concerned government agencies.
Earlier, the previous administration was able to access some P180 million from the public works department for the rehabilitation of the city-owned Baguio Convention Center to improve the state of the 42-year old facility.
The Baguio Convention Center rehabilitation project was supposed to have been completed in March 2019 but the same had been repeatedly extended because of the various suspension of work and issues raised on the alleged substandard implementation of the programmed works in the facility.
The convention center was built by the Ministry of Human Settlements in 1978 to serve as a venue for the world chess championship match between world chess champion Anatoly Karpov and Victor Korchnoi.
Previously, the convention center was under the administration and management of the State-owned Government Service Insurance system (GSIS) before the local government was able to purchase the same through a tripartite agreement among the GSIS, the city government and the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for the use of the city’s 25 percent share from the lease rentals of the development of Camp John hay Special Economic Zone as partial payment for the computed payment of the facility.
The local government was able to fully pay its obligation with the GSIS in 2012 after its arrears dramatically increased considering that previous administrations failed to act on the said matter.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis