July 24, 2024

The implementation of the Session Road sidewalk improvement was suspended after drawing public flak.
City department heads told members of the council the improvement of the Session Road sidewalk, which was given a notice to proceed on March 22, was put on hold pending the conduct of another round of public consultation.
City Planning and Development Officer Donna Tabangin said they are updating the design to incorporate public sentiments aired through comments on the article posted at the Public Information Office Facebook account about the sidewalk repair and improvement.
The article came with a perspective of the roofed sidewalk, which drew criticisms from netizens, majority of whom said the roofs are not needed as these would destroy Session Road’s aesthetic appeal.
Tabangin said they have scheduled a public consultation on April 29.
She said they held a consultation with Session Road businessmen about the sidewalk improvement last year, but they will hold a “bigger consultation” with an updated design and to gather more inputs from stakeholders.
City Engineer Victorio Olpindo said the implementation of the sidewalk improvement was suspended on April 6 pending the conduct of public dialogue and a consultation with the CPDO, City Buildings and Agriculture Office, and City Environment and Parks Management Office.
The project covers the right side going up Session Road and is allotted P20 million funded under the city’s Annual Investment Plan.
Responding to the query of Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda on why the project was implemented sans public consultation, Olpindo said there was a consultation among the businessmen.
Aside from the consultation, Olpindo said they set a mockup of the Green Walks project at the portion of the sidewalk below the Post Office, to give the public a glimpse of what the whole stretch of the sidewalk would look.
“Kung ano ‘yung ginawa doon, ‘yun ang gagawin sa buong sidewalk,” Olpindo said, adding the mockup earned positive feedback from the public.
The council asked the concerned City Hall departments to finalize the design and present this during the consultation.
Councilors Ma. Victoria Yaranon and Benny Bomogao have asked the concerned department heads to brief the council on projects involving areas with historical significance, such as Session Road, so the members would be able to explain when citizens ask elected officials on the status of projects in areas of historical value. – Jane B. Cadalig