BAGUIO CITY – Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan accepts opposition to the government’s development plans saying that,”opposition to any project cannot be prevented and it is very welcome being part of the democratic process.”
Domogan, in an interview on Monday, reacted to an online petition in a social networking site to prevent the supposed construction of parking structures at Melvin Jones Grandstand and football field, Burnham Park.
The online petition, “Mayor Domogan and the Baguio City Council: Keep Burnham Park green, open and beyond the commerce of man”, was put up where it claimed that the construction will have adverse historical, environmental and economic impacts to the city.
“They need not worry because we are assuring them that we will be considering all the points that will be raised when it comes to the project, they will be part of every process.
”It will be a long process”, he said, adding that since the feasibility has already been submitted, the next step will be the creation of a technical working group (TWG) to begin with.
The process will include the Baguio City Council’s deliberations on the project, Social Acceptability and a Project Bidding, if need be.
Domogan in the Weekly Ugnayan clarified issues regarding the proposed off-street parking facility.
He said the proposal to build a parking complex was hatched years back with the concept of putting a car park underneath the football field.
“Matagal na yan na plano, panahon pa ni Architect Estipona,” Domogan said.
Last year, an Australian Firm expressed interest in conducting a feasibility study on the viability of constructing a parking complex within Burham Park at their own expense which the city approved.
Earlier, Domogan issued Administrative order No. 25 approving the creation of a Technical Working Group (TWG) to assess, evaluate and recommend the most advantageous proposal in the operation of an off-street parking.
Parkwise Philippines Inc. and CW Developments Inc. released the feasibility study results for the Melvin Jones Football Field which it said is a viable project.
Two options were presented as viable, the first is the construction of a multi-level parking at the Ganza Area and another multi-level parking at the other end of the football field leaving the playing area intact.
The parking area may accommodate more or less 2,484 vehicles while the second option will include the redevelopment of the football field, a parking level under the field, that will have more or less 3,000 vehicle capacity.
A Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme for 25 years is also proposed under a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
Domogan however clarified the feasibility study is just a tool to determine the viability of the project.
Domogan stressed, “there is no approval of the city government on the said project and presently, it is still being evaluated.”
“If ever it gets approved/, it will be endorsed to the City Council for discussion and conduct of a public hearing then the council will make a resolution,” he said.
Domogan said, “the city government will not push through with any project that will destroy the park and have detrimental effects on the environment”.
Burnham Park was recently declared a “Historical Site” by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).