September 27, 2023

The city council passed a resolution recommending status quo ante on all Burnham Park lease contracts or month-to-month extension until the final park development plan is ready for implementation by government agencies and the local government.

In Resolution 557, s. 2021, the city council said business activities within Burnham Park contribute to the enhancement of the local economy and provide sustainable employment to residents.

However, the council requested the Local Finance Committee to study the issues raised by the Burnham Park lessees and submit its recommendations to them to for appropriate legislation governing these matters.

The council anchored its decision on Section 16 of the Local Government Code, which provides that local government units shall ensure and support, among other things, the enhancement of economic prosperity and social justice, promotion of full employment among their residents, and the preservation of the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.

Section 458 paragraph (a) of the Code also provides that the sangguniang panlungsod shall enact ordinances, approve resolutions, and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city and its inhabitants.

Earlier, concerned Burnham Park lessees raised issues ranging from the application of their rental rates to those at Session road and the city public market, tenure of lease of contracts, bidding requirements from current lessees and payment of taxes, deduction of rentals and cancellation of all penalties and interests and condonation of rentals, citing the present pandemic, and pending the implementation of the proposed Burnham Park development plan, and the move by some sectors for Burnham Park to be declared as a national heritage site.

The body said it commiserates with the situation of the Burnham Park lessees, which is why it wants to observe status quo ante on all lease contracts or month-to-month extension until such time that the proposed Burnham Park Development Plan is ready for implementation.

The city planned to develop portions of the Burnham Park with funds from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, but the funds allotted for 2020 has been realigned for the national government’s Covid-19 response. – PIO release