Issue of September 9, 2018
Mt. Province

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Dad eyes creation of Burnham Park comprehensive dev’t plan
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

Due to several proposals to build structures within its premises, a city councilor has raised the need to formulate a master plan for Burnham Park.

Councilor Mylen Yaranon this week proposed an ordinance that seeks to create a comprehensive development plan for the Burnham Park reservation.

In the proposed ordinance, Yaranon said several proposals have been submitted to the city government, signifying to build structures within the Burnham Park reservation, which had been presented in a series of public consultations.

“There is now a need for the formulation of a comprehensive development plan that will validate the collective aspirations of the people of Baguio,” Yaranon stated in her proposal, which was passed first reading during the city council’s Sept. 3 session.

Among the bids recently offered for Burnham Park is the construction of multilevel parking buildings and a dinosaur park.

The councilor suggested tasking the City Planning and Development Office and City Environment and Parks Management Office to prepare the plan and undertake the necessary measures in preserving and protecting Burnham Park, in coordination with the Department of Tourism Cordillera, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and Arts, Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners Northern Luzon Chapter, and other concerned agencies.

Yaranon, in her explanatory note, said Burnham Park is the city’s pride of place and premier tourist destination known throughout the world. With this in mind, she called attention to a provision of the Tourism Act of 2009, which states that the government shall promote a tourism industry by ensuring that tourism development protects and promotes general wellbeing particularly in the area of investment, and monitoring and preventing any act of profiteering or speculation to the detriment of residents, among other objectives.  

Executive Order 224 of 1995 transferred the administration, maintenance, management, and operation of the park to the city government of Baguio. EO 695 of 2008 later authorized the city government to have full control of the park, including the further development of the reservation’s 328,394.39-square meter land area.

Since then, several facilities and features have been developed within the park that provide convenience and services to the public, namely the Burnham Park lake, Children’s Playground, skating rink, Rose Garden, the Burnham bust, orchidarium, Igorot garden, Melvin Jones grandstand and football grounds, a parking area at the old auditorium, athletic bowl, tennis courts, picnic grove, the Japanese Peace Tower, Pine Trees of the World, Sunshine Park, a swimming pool complex, and Ibaloi Heritage Garden.

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