December 5, 2022

Baguio City passed with flying colors the initiation stage of the Performance Governance System (PGS), a performance management and measurement tool that aims to improve governance by “translating organizational goals into breakthrough results.”

The city was awarded the PGS Silver Trailblazer Award during the Institute for Solidarity in Asia’s (ISA) PGS Public Revalida for the initiation stage of the system conducted Dec. 13.

During the revalida, Mayor Benjamin Magalong presented the city’s current programs and gains as well as its plans to address the city’s breached urban carrying capacity and resultant problems on lack of water supply, depleted forest covers and open spaces, liquid and solid wastes, traffic congestion, among other things.

The transformation roadmap also included strategic solutions to over-tourism and declining quality of education.

“Our strategy is to position Baguio as a smart sustainable city advancing responsible tourism and responsive education. This is in recognition of the fact that tourism, education and technology are critical drivers in transforming our city,” the mayor said.

To address the environmental degradation, the mayor said the city is intensifying protection, conservation and increase of green reservations through active community involvement, long-term management and conservation programs on reforestation, establishment of state-of-the art greenhouses, strengthening policies against informal settlers and programs like the Green Walk project to green up urban roads and the Blue Walk project to recover water easements, continued transformation of the Irisan dump facility into an eco-park and other programs.

To promote responsible tourism, the city shifted to a systematic management strategy to address unregulated tourism activities, neglected heritage sites and arts or creative sector

The city also worked on reinstating the city’s characteristic as a walkable city by pursuing the sidewalk recovery and road right-of-way clearing projects.

Information-communication and technology pursuits also enabled the city to shift to centralized and automated systems en route to a Technology Intelligence status through programs like the Baguio in my Pocket and establishment of the smart city command center to expedite real time data and decision-making and other systems aimed at speeding up government transactions.

The ISA multi-sector panel chaired by ISA trustee Guillermo Luz challenged the city’s transformation roadmap pointing out areas where improvements can be made.

With the initiation phase done, the city will begin preparing for the revalida this time for the compliance stage, the second of the four phases of PGS system (initiation, compliance, proficiency, and institutionalization). – Aileen P. Refuerzo