Stone Kingdom now open, with conditions
The management of the reopened Stone Kingdom, which became a hit destination in Baguio City, is expected to come up with innovations to minimize crowd and address traffic congestion along Longlong Road at Pinsao Pilot.
Baguio City Tourism Officer Alec Mapalo said the reopening of Stone Kingdom, whose operations was halted in November last year, is subject to conditions, which the management must comply with for it to be issued a permit.
Mapalo said the reopening of the facility is covered by a provisional permit and management must comply with the conditions, among which is the traffic mitigation plan to address congestion along the road that serves as an alternate route for motorists coming from Baguio to La Trinidad and vice versa. The provisional permit is good for 90 days.
He said the traffic mitigation plan must be consulted and verified with the Baguio City Police Office, Traffic Division of the City Engineering Office, and the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Mapalo said the management has also presented a plan on how to manage the number of people entering the area.
“There is a plan of coming up with an online booking system to allow real-time monitoring of people and cars entering the area,” he said.
The city government has ordered the closure of Stone Kingdom for permit violations and safety concerns, but the City Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed the case filed against the theme park’s management, saying the latter has complied with the requisites of acquiring business permits.
Mapalo said the incident surrounding Stone Kingdom encouraged innovations that can be adopted by the city government in terms of business permit issuance and ensuring sustainability of tourist attractions.
He added the Stone Kingdom closure highlighted the need of ensuring the sustainability of tourist areas.
“With the experience we had with Stone Kingdom, the City Planning, Development, and Sustainability Office will make it a requirement for business permits applicants to validate their zoning and if an area has a potential or has been declared a tourist site, they need to consult with our office in terms of sustainability practices, including parking, to help their business become sustainable,” Mapalo said. – Jane B. Cadalig