June 17, 2024

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has assured businesses at Gov. Pack Road are not disregarded in the proposed development in the area.

DENR-Cordillera Executive Director Ralph Pablo said lessees at Gov. Pack who have been religiously paying their rent with the DENR, will be prioritized when City Hall and the agency implement development in the area to cater to the needs of Baguio.

The DENR and the city government has earlier signed a memorandum of agreement for the establishment of “high a density multi-level” area covering 4,568 square meters of Gov. Pack.

The plan involves the establishment of structures for commercial and parking purposes, among other developments.

During the city council session on June 27, Pablo has assured those who have been paying their rent religiously to the DENR will be considered in the implementation of the project.

Pablo said the MOA will again be subject to signing, considering the change in the secretary of the DENR who will be among the signatories to the agreement.

Atty. Maria Clarita Tabin, who represents the heirs of Casuga, said the DENR should have involved first the business operators who will be affected by the plan before they came up with the MOA.

Pablo has assured that legitimate business operators will not be evicted from their current undertaking.

“Before the project will be implemented, we will consult the businesses there. We cannot just evict them because they are our tenants,” Pablo said.

Under the MOA, the development will be undertaken by the city government and profits will be shared equally by the city and the DENR.

During his inaugural address on June 30, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city intends to redevelop the Baden Powell Inn, which is one of the heritage assets of Baguio. – Jane B. Cadalig