BAGUIO CITY – The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) earmarked some P20 million to regreen and re-bloom landmark parks in the country’s undisputed Summer Capital, specifically Burnham Park and Sunshine Park, two of the premier parks being frequented by residents and visitors alike, to help bring back the beauty and scenery of the said parks.
TIEZA chief executive officer Pocholo Paragas informed Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan and some members of the local legislative body, as well as veteran urban planner Arch. Joseph Alabanza, that the fund was previously approved by the board way back in 2015 but it took some time to facilitate the release of the funds for the project due to alleged differences in the priorities of the tourism department and the local government.
Paragas said that the allocation of the funds for the regreening and reblooming project is just an initial wave of support from the tourism body to the city government as there is the upcoming funding support for projects in the comprehensive development plan for the 34-hectare Burnham Park complex.
The TIEZA official informed city officials the agency is inclined to support the rehabilitation and upgrading of Burnham Park as one of the icon landmarks in the country, aside from Rizal Park in Metro Manila and other heritage landmarks in the country.
He said TIEZA also supports the pending proposal in Congress for the declaration of Burnham Park as a national heritage to give the agency more reason to infuse funds to sustain the efforts to preserve and protect the park and to regulate the put up of infrastructure in one of the country’s icon landmarks.
According to him, TIEZA will submit the crafted designs for the regreening and reblooming project to the local government for confirmation by the members of the local legislative body to initiate a harmonious working relationship until the completion of the projects incorporated in the park’s comprehensive master plan.
On his part, Magalong said he will issue the appropriate order creating the technical working group (TWG) composed of private sector representatives and the city government technical personnel for the crafting of the Burnham Park’s comprehensive master development plan with reference to all previously prepared, completed and accepted plans to reflect the future of the park.
The local chief executive expressed the gratitude of the city’s officialdom to TIEZA for their all-out support in the proposal of concerned sectors to rehabilitate and improve the prevailing state of Burnham Park to make it worthy as a premier tourist destination with its strategic location at the heart of the city, thus, it should serve as a showcase for other tourist destinations located in the different parts of the city.
He said the initial regreening and reblooming project will help in significantly improving the state of the park once completed.
By Dexter A. See