November 29, 2023

The current pandemic has hampered the much-awaited rehabilitation of Burnham Park.
On June 24, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority Asst. Chief Operating Officer and head of the Architectural and Engineering Services Sector Nestor Domalanta has informed Mayor Benjamin Magalong about the Tieza’s suspension of the rehabilitation of Burnham Park.
Domalanta said funds for the rehabilitation have been realigned for the implementation of emergency measures to contain the spread of the Covid-19, as well as to provide assistance to cushion the impact of severe disruption of economic activities.
A technical working group estimates that the total rehabilitation of Burnham Park would cost P2 billion. Early this year, Tourism Sec. Bernadette Puyat has committed P400 million from the Tieza.
Domalanta said the suspension is in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte ordering a discontinuance of appropriated programs, projects or activities in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 under the General Appropriations Act, as well as funds for the Tieza to be used to address the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of April, Tieza submitted to the Bureau of Treasury P12B.
Domalanta has assured the mayor that Tieza will pursue funding of the Burnham Park rehabilitation but did not mention when it will reinstate the amount appropriated for the park.
At the city council, Councilor Mylen Yaranon reported that Magalong is bent on pursuing the rehabilitation this time through a loan from the Asian Development Bank, but which will be paid by the Tieza.
Yaranon presented to the council the revised plan for Burnham where development will be concentrated only at the Children’s Playground, Lake Drive, and Rose Garden because of the limited funds appropriated by the Tieza.
The city council has decided not to confirm the revised design pending update from the mayor about his plans now that Tieza has suspended release of funds for the park’s rehabilitation. – Rimaliza A. Opiña