June 2, 2023

With the Tourism Secretary’s recent pronouncement on the national government’s intent to rehabilitate Baguio after Boracay, a meeting is set this January for the planning of the city’s much-needed revitalization.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the secretaries of the departments of Interior and Local Government, Environment and Natural Resources, and Tourism would meet with him Jan. 10 to discuss how to assist the city in its rehabilitation program.
“This is a result of a series of consultation meetings we had with the three secretaries. It is continuous because we need to rehabilitate the city especially our environment,” Magalong said.
Magalong has acknowledged the negative effects of the upsurge of tourist arrivals in the city but said the problems needs to be approached in a comprehensive manner.
He said they are now working on the various traffic schemes to ease vehicle congestion especially in the central business district, as well as the stricter implementation of the Anti-Littering Ordinance.
“Every day, I closely monitor what is going on in the city especially the traffic and the garbage situation. That’s the reason why I immediately ordered the police to conduct an aggressive campaign against litterbugs for the past days,” he said.
The mayor said for the first two days of apprehending litterbugs, the police arrested 28 individuals while notices of violation were also served to some food establishments that did not follow the proper time of garbage collection.
He clarified though that the rehabilitation does not mean closure of the city such as what happened in Boracay, where the government ordered its total closure in 2018.
“There will be no closure because you cannot close Baguio because it is the gateway to many provinces of the Cordillera,” he said.
Earlier, the DOT, through the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority, said it would release an initial P500 million to the city, of which P400M is for the rehabilitation of Burnham Park.
Tieza will also help the city implement the rehabilitation of the public market, the creation of pedestrian-only areas and phase one of the upgrading of water and sewerage facilities. – Ofelia C. Empian