May 24, 2024

The city council wants to know from concerned City Hall departments about a proposal to build a multilevel parking facility within the open grounds of a school in Baguio.

This is after representatives of the parents and teachers’ association of Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School (MLQES), barangay and Schools Division of Baguio appeared before the city council on March 18 and made their stand against the plan to build on the open space between the school and the PFVR gymnasium, as they wanted to keep the school’s open space for educational and other intended purposes.

Ricson Elahe, representative for City Public Schools District Supervisor Soraya Faculo, said the SDO does not oppose the development, but is of the stand that the area should be left as an educational football field and a parking lot should not be built in the area.

He said representatives from the City Buildings and Architecture Office came to the division office last week for a coordination meeting to present and seek for the office’s comment or recommendations about the plan.

He said they were informed MLQES has been identified by the city government as one of the 13 sites for multilevel parking structures.

He said it was mentioned during the meeting that the school division’s stand is that no parking building shall be put up in the area.

Teresita de Castro, the school’s PTA president, also appealed to the city council the plan to put up a parking building in the school’s open area after some CBAO representatives went there to make some measurements.

Becky Ambion, punong barangay of Military Cut-Off, informed the council that MLQES serves as the barangay’s evacuation site as provided in their barangay risk reduction and management plan, which is to evacuate to the school during emergencies since it is the only open space in the barangay.

DPS Compound PB Arnel del Monte said the barangay has not been consulted yet about the supposed plan.

The school’s PTA and personnel and residents of Military Cut-Off and DPS Compound have sent a letter last month to the office of Councilor Peter Fianza where they petitioned and raised their concern on the matter.

Vice Mayor Olowan said it was premature to discuss the project as there is a need to know and confirm the exact plan from the CBAO, whose representatives were not able to attend the city council session.

The matter was referred back to the committee on public works for proper action.

Olowan assured the concerned sectors the city council respects their stand and whatever the law provides as the intent and purpose of the school grounds, and that they will again be invited for further discussions with concerned city offices. – Hanna C. Lacsamana