BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved an ordinance designating the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO), in coordination with the Tourism and Special Events Division of the City Administrator’s Office, to provide for the design and construction of a fountain to be installed at the rotunda of Session Road to serve as a new tourism landmark in the city and allocating the amount of P400,000, or so much thereof, for the said purpose.
The ordinance authored by Vice Mayor Faustino A. Olowan and Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano states the aforesaid offices may acquire the expertise of local architects and artists in the city in the designing of the fountain to conform with the branding to be adopted for the continuous promotion of the city as a prime tourist destination.
Under the proposed ordinance, the design of the fountain shall be first presented to the City Mayor and the members of the City Council for approval prior to the construction of the same at the available space at the rotunda and should not exceed the radius of the area to prevent it from posing obstruction to vehicular traffic.
The ordinance stipulates the amount required for the project shall cover the cost for the design and construction if the same will be built by the concerned departments of the city government.
However, the ordinance added that the construction of the fountain could be bid out as may be authorized under existing law, rules and regulations and pursuant to the decision of the city’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).
Republic Act (RA) 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009 states the State shall seek to create a favourable image of the country thereby strengthening the nation’s attraction as a tourist destination and eventually pave the way for other benefits that may result from a positive global view of the Philippines.
According to the proposed ordinance, the tourism industry in the Philippines has become broader, changing rapidly, and is now more competitive, thus, local government units push to stand out to draw the interest and attend to the demands of tourists for new attractions and highlights from present and future tourist destinations around the archipelago.
Last year, the City Council approved Ordinance No. 54, series of 2018 approving the request of the CBAO for the payment of the cost of clothing material used for the tinatik art Christmas tree installed at the rotunda at the top of Session Road but unfortunately, the same was removed after a portion of it was burned by vandals.
The ordinance pointed out there is a need to install a more permanent structure that would be an all-year feature at the area and that the same could be provided with other features such as dancing lights; Christmas music during the Yuletide season; or even the theme song of the Baguio flower festival during the months of February and March.
The proponents expressed the view that putting an added attraction at the rotunda of Session road will definitely help in sustaining the promotion of the city as one of the prime tourist destinations in the country amidst the innovations being introduced by other local governments to lure tourists to visit their places.
By Dexter A. See