April 17, 2024

Except for one that would entail the city government to acquire a loan for the first time, the city council has approved the first supplemental budget for 24 projects under the city’s 2024 Annual Investment Program (AIP).

City Planning Development and Sustainability Coordinator Ar. Donna Tabangin, City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña, and representatives from the City Engineer’s Office presented the AIP projects during the city council’s Feb. 26 session.

Sixteen of the projects amounting to more or less P384 million have already been allotted budget.

Tabangin said in consultation with Mayor Benjamin Magalong and other concerned department heads, this budget has been sourced from balances from obligated allotments from 2021 and prior years, the local development fund from 2010 to 2021, and the trust fund accumulated as of 2023.

Dela Peña added these funds were already obligated, but the projects for which there were intended can no longer be realized according to the concerned implementing agencies that were consulted about the original projects’ supposed implementation.

Two of the projects included in the AIP are funded by the national government, namely the construction of a multipurpose hall at Gabriela Silang amounting to P50M sourced from Sen. Pia Cayetano and the procurement of an ambulance for P2.5M sourced from Sen. Bong Revilla through the efforts of City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Two other projects – the development and/or rehabilitation of the Burnham Park, particularly Ibaloy Park, and preparation of the Dominican Hill Retreat House detailed engineering study and construction management plan – will be funded with the support of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts and through the Local Government Support Fund.

The first set of the 16 projects to be funded by the city general funds are innovation projects worth P15M which include the integration of gender and development through resiliency; smart garbage bins project by the University of the Cordilleras which is ready for prototyping; innovations from the peace and order and public safety council; and a request for innovation alliance and other innovation support.

The second set includes youth programs, projects, and activities: Youth Leadership Program Camp, a place making in barangays with youth leaders; the Next Generation Leading the Way/youth driven solutions for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through the voluntary local review; and Youth in Action, empowering the youth for creating positive change, with a budget of P5M.

Third is a request from the General Services Office, which plans to conduct a feasibility study for the outsourcing of garbage collection for residences in barangays to the transfer station or at the central material recovery facility at Dontogan barangay for P1M.

Another is the construction of the sewerage treatment plant or the leachate treatment plant at Irisan eco-park for P35M and the improvement of district health centers for P50M.

The other projects are the rehabilitation of the arboretum 1 and 2, on its third phase or Last Mile for P5.5M; development and improvement of the lagoon underground drainage and surface water runoffs for P50M; construction of transfer station at Dontogan for P55.2M;

Construction of multipurpose hall at Trancoville for P35M; construction of covered court in various barangays for an accumulated amount of P30M; road recovery at Diego Silang St. towards Harrison Road at Harrison-Carantes barangay for P10M;

Procurement and installation of heater for the swimming pool at the Athletic Bowl for P15M; various sangguniang panlungsod programs and activities for P50M; City Development Council capacity building for P2M; demolition of structures at the tourist rest area at Kennon Road for P300,000; and the construction of the Dontogan multipurpose hall for P35M.

Tabangin said included in the AIP are projects which need funding and for approval by the city council, namely the procurement of offsite information and communications technology, disaster recovery system for business continuity under the Management Information and Technology Division for P40M; and the construction of the Pacdal multipurpose hall, P50M.

Subject for approval and further discussions with the city council is the Baguio Resilient City Tourism Project, a portion of its almost P700M budget will be acquired through a loan from the Asian Development Bank by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.

Councilors also advised for vigilance in the implementation of the projects, especially those that are funded by the national government, to avoid reversion of funds like what happened with recent nationally funded city projects and which were subject of unfavorable review by the Commission on Audit. – Hanna C. Lacsamana