May 25, 2024

The city council has declared the 34-hectare Burnham Park as a heritage park and sought for the installation of a historical marker in the area by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
In a resolution, the council stated that in line with the local government’s policy to extend full support for heritage site preservation as well as full recognition of its historical significance, it is of utmost importance that Burnham Park be declared a heritage park and to allow the installation of a historical marker in the area by the government agency.
The council anchored its decision on Section 5, Article 3 of Republic Act 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 that stated for purposes of protecting a cultural property against exploitation, modification, or demolition, certain works, including structures dating at least 50 years old, shall be considered important cultural property, unless declared otherwise by the cultural agency.
The local government earlier adopted a policy of enlivening culture, arts, crafts, and heritage where full government support will be extended to its partners in the arts, culture, creative, and heritage conservation sectors befitting the city’s declaration by the United Nations as the only city in the country that became a member of the UN Creative Cities Network.
The resolution added that the city will maintain constant engagement and active involvement with the aforesaid sectors to encourage appropriate activities meant to enliven the cultural scene and strengthen harmonizing efforts of varied indigenous and traditional cultural practices as well as commit support for heritage sites preservation.
Before the Americans set foot in Baguio, the area where Burnham Park is now located was a wide open space which was referred to as Kafagway.
Since its inauguration, Burnham Park served as a breathing space and center for public congregation in the city.
It served as the venue for local and international gatherings such as the Baguio Carnival in 1915, Baguio Carnival and Exposition in 1923, and Political Mass of Poe John Paul II in 1981.
In 2015, the NHCP recognized the national historical significance of Burnham Park where it proposed to install a historical marker at Burnham Park subject to the conformity of the local government.
The NHCP claimed that the park is considered an important cultural property because of its more than 50 years of existence pursuant to the provisions of RA 10066.
Pending before the House of Representatives is a bill that seeks to declare Burnham Park as a national heritage park and appropriating funds for its sustainable conservation and development. The bill recognizes Burnham Park’s contribution in the progress and prosperity of the city for over a century now.
The council asserted the need to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the people of the city for the benefit of the next generations. – PIO release