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BAGUIO CITY – Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat committed to Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong some P500 million for the rehabilitation of the 34-hectare Burnham Park complex to significantly improve the state of the city’s premier tourist destination.
The commitment was made by the tourism official during a recent meeting with the city chief executive on the prospects of rehabilitating the city’s premier tourist destination to be at part with other frequently visited parks in the different parts of the country.
Earlier, the city government estimated around P300 million is needed to implement recommended developments inside the park pursuant to the approved comprehensive master development plan of the park which id still to be subjected to public consultations and recommendations by the concerned stakeholders.
Among the initial plans for the rehabilitation of Burnham Park include the improvement of the Melvin Jones football ground, the provision of a fountain and re-development of the Burnham lake, the put up of a senior citizen’s park near the children’s park, the put up of a creative center, the facelift of the Rose Garden and the development of the Pine Trees of the World within the Burnham Park complex.
Magalong claimed the national government is providing the city government with the funding assistance in recognition of its good governance practices and the funds will be downloaded to the city anytime as soon as the same will be made available by the tourism department.
The proposed rehabilitation of Burnham Park is aligned with one of the present administration’s 15-point collective agenda focused on revitalizing the environment and enhanced tourism beneficial to the sustainable growth and development of the city.
The city government tasked a technical working group (TWG) composed of government and private architects to prepare the comprehensive master development plan of Burnham Park using the earlier master development plan donated by the University of the Cordilleras (UC) and other available reference materials as their basis in formulating the said plan, update it, and make it conform with the current trends.
The city legislative body approved the proposed Burnham Park comprehensive master development plan subject to the conduct of public consultations and revisions that may arise from issues and concerns that may be raised by the public.
Part of the proposed plan is the a multi-level parking structure in the existing Ganza parking area, the construction of a 2-basement level parking within the creative center area which will be located in the site of the old city auditorium and a multi-level parking structure within the Baguio Athletic Bowl to cater to the parking requirements of park goers.
The city mayor said the city government will wait first for the committed funds to be downloaded before proceeding with the required public bidding for all the proposed projects that will translate to the improvement of the state of the park.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis