May 23, 2024

The city government of Baguio represented by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong awarded to the winning bidder, Palafox Associates the contract for the preparation of a detailed engineering study and conservation management plan of the Dominican Hill Heritage Site to the tune of P13,900,880.

The contract agreement was signed Jan. 31 with Palafox Associates represented by Architect Felino A. Palafox, Jr., the principal architect, urban planner, founder, and managing partner of the winning consultancy firm.

The National Commission on Culture and the Arts in 2022 forged an agreement for the national government to grant a P15 million fund for the Dominican Hill Heritage Site redevelopment plan.

Palafox Associates, as the winning bidder, is expected to finish the plan within six months from receipt of the notice to proceed. 

Expected accomplishments include detailed cultural mapping; detailed building and landscape assessment; detailed architectural and landscape conservation plan, structural retrofitting design; mechanical, sanitary, electrical, and communications plan; project management plan; a 3D scale model; site and building carrying capacity and view protection study; willingness to pay and business model development; incorporation to Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Creative Circuit Plan; and policy recommendations.

The city government worked closely with the NCCA in the plan to conserve the century-old retreat center and transform it into a creative hub for the city’s art assets that will foster Baguio as a creative city befitting to its UN-vested status as member of the global creative cities network.

The Dominican Retreat Center, which was originally built by the Dominicans to serve as a school in 1915, turned into a hotel in the ‘80s, and acquired by the city in 2004. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan