July 19, 2024

There are 129 barangays in Baguio.
In terms of the census of registered residents as of the year 2021, Barangay Irisan is the biggest and Barangay Bagong Lipunan is the smallest.
Each has its own punong barangay and officers who govern the affairs of their constituents living in their respective territories. The quality of each barangay is gauged on its livability.
An article revealed that out of the 128 barangays in Baguio City, only one is livable. That barangay is South Drive.
According to the article, 41 barangays are considered moderately livable, four are of minimum livability, while two are declining to non-livable conditions.
It added the criteria used in determining the livability of each barangay in the city of Baguio were based on the following:
First, healthy places which take into consideration the availability of health centers, waste management, water supply and the over-all security of the place.
Second, accessibility which refers to the availability of convenience and safety measures instituted in the barangay like halls, sidewalks, waiting sheds where public transportation may be availed of and mobility, not only in terms of traffic but proximity to stores and commercial districts.
Third, presence of essential services which considers disaster risk assessment, the safety of erected buildings and quick response in the event of disaster.
Fourth, clean water supply which looks into the cleanliness of rivers and canals within the barangay and availability of tap water
Fifth, good governance which looks into the efficient management of the barangay by its elected officers.
The study was conducted to allow the local government to guide in its development thrust and in determining the plans that must be implemented in order to improve the city.
It is understandable that only South Drive met the criteria as it is the prime place where the rich and famous reside. South Drive is to Manila Forbes Park or the Corinthians. With more wealth at its command, its sustainability and livability is expected. Anything below it would be disastrous.
If based on a scientific study that there is only barangay in Baguio City that is livable, this therefore serves as an eye-opener to all who lives here that the city is deteriorating to an alarming degree. While the City of Pines retains its character as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines,” it is no longer justified. Perhaps, in terms of visitors who trek to the place but no longer because of its clean environment, giant pine trees, carpet sunflowers and the fog. All of these are no longer in place and the only reason why people continue to flock to the city is because of its reputation that it is a cool place.
The question that is on everybody’s mind is: Can the damage done to the city be reversed? Can the city restore its old self? Can we look forward and wish with confidence that Baguio City will regain its luster and pristine beauty?
With the current trend involving industrialization and rampant development, it is unlikely. However, we can at least mitigate the damage and restore the livability of our barangays. How? Political will and a conscious effort by all to co-exist with the environment. Avoid littering and polluting the city. Save its resources. Start with yourself. It all starts with us.