BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) disclosed the ongoing rehabilitation of the city-owned Baguio Convention Center will be completed right in time for the celebration of the 110th Charter day of Baguio city.
DPWH-CAR regional director Engr. Tiburcio Canlas said that as of the middle of June, the programmed rehabilitation and repair works inside the city’s premier convention facility was already 80 percent complete and that the remaining works will be done even before the city celebrates its Charter anniversary.
“The role of the agency is for the aesthetics of the convention center because the works that were programmed from the allocated funds were purely for the rehabilitation of the facility,” Canlas stressed.
The DPWH-CAR official claimed that the agency already communicated with the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) to work on the diggings that were done by those who undertook treasure hunting activities in the said facility so as not to affect the structural integrity of the convention center.
Earlier, the DPWH earmarked some P180 million for the proposed rehabilitation and repair of the Baguio Convention Center to increase its seating capacity aside from improving its aesthetics and interior facilities through the representation of City Planning and Development Coordinator Engr. Evelyn G. Cayat and outgoing City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan.
However, the winning contractor of the proposed rehabilitation and repair works submitted a bid of over P169 million for the programmed works included in the detailed plans and specifications for the said project.
Under the original contract, the rehabilitation and repair project was supposed to be completed by February this year but due to various issues and concerns that caused the delay in the implementation of the programmed works, the date of completion was moved until after the middle of this year or possibly before September 1, 2019.
Canlas said that the DPWH-CAR has nothing to do about the structural integrity of the convention center considering that what had been programmed to rehabilitate the facility was for the increase in the seating capacity from the previous 1,750 to over 2,200 once the project will be completed by the third quarter of this year.
The local government purchased the Baguio Convention Center from the State-owned Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) for the city to have a an area where to hold numerous public and private gatherings.
The convention facility was constructed by the Ministry of Human Settlements in 1978 to pave the way for the country’s hosting of the world chess championship match between Anatoly Karpov and Victor Korchnoi that contributed in enticing more Filipinos to be actively involved in the chess game.
The proposed rehabilitation of the convention facility started in March 2018 after the project was successfully bidded out by the agency in December 2017 by the DPWH-CAR after funds for the same was guaranteed under the annual budget.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis