March 3, 2024

Tourism Infrastructure and. Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza) Chief Operating Officer Mark Lapid has committed to prioritize Baguio City in its tourism infrastructure program.
Lapid met with Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Oct. 12 to discuss the status of the Baguio Resilient City Tourism Project (BRCTP), which covers the rehabilitation of the city’s old sewage treatment plant which the city and Tieza are implementing with the Department of Tourism and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Lapid said he will also push for the inclusion of the Burnham Park rehabilitation in the project with a budget component of P700 million.
Lapid said improvement of Burnham Park has a great impact on further uplifting Baguio City’s tourism industry and so it is crucial to include it in this project.  
“The development of Burnham Park has been our social commitment to the people and we intend to pursue it along with the rehabilitation of the city’s sewerage system,” Lapid said.
On Oct. 11, the mayor met with Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco along with ADB Senior Urban Development Specialist Thuy Trang Dang presented the BRCTP.
The program “pushes for the sustainable and resilient tourism development of Baguio City by improving urban sanitation infrastructure and services to reduce pollution and improve public health; and supporting micro, small, and medium-sized tourism enterprises through training of their workforce.”
Under the project, the ADB will serve as the funding agency, the Tieza will be the executing and implementing agency for the construction of the sewage treatment plant, the DOT will be the implementing agency for the mandated training of tourism workers in the city, while the local government will be the recipient of the projects.
Lapid said he intends to work out the inclusion of Burnham Park development in the project at no cost to the city.
The funds for the sewerage plant, on the other hand, will be through a loan secured from the ADB amounting to $62.4 million or P3.7 billion.
The project will involve preparation for the first two years, project construction for the next two years and start of operation and maintenance of the sewage treatment plant and Balili sewage network.
The deliverables for output 1 will include new Balili sewage treatment plant, rehabilitated Balili sewage network and rehabilitated 11.3 kilometers of sewer lines while the deli-verables for output 2 will be solely confined in the improved productivity of tourism workers.
The project will support DOT to establish 12 private sector-led skills training networks in accommodation, food services, farm tourism, creative services, tour operations and transportation.
The project is now undergoing review by the National Economic and Development Authority. – Aileen P. Refuerzo