Issue of January 13, 2019
     
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Only 2 councilors appear in Sky Ranch ocular inspection
by Jane B. Cadalig

Only two members of the city council joined the inspection of the amusement facilities at SM Sky Ranch.

The inspection, which was hoped to help guide the city council come up with measures on how to address the concerns raised by stakeholders over the amusement park’s operations, ended with majority of Sky Ranch and SM officials and technical people from the City Hall who are already knowledgeable of the facilities’ safety protocols, being the ones briefed on the latest plans of Sky Ranch in the area.

Councilors Elmer Datuin and Roberto Ortega VI joined the site inspection. Councilors Leandro Yangot, Jr. and Michael Lawana showed up, but left when the inspection of the site and the facilities started. Those who moved for the passage of a resolution that asked Sky Ranch to conduct public consultations about its operations were also a no-show during the inspection.

Datuin said it would have been good if his colleagues joined so that their questions would have been answered first-hand by officials of Sky Ranch, who traveled from their main offices to join the inspection on Jan. 8.

He said based on the ocular inspection and the explanation of Sky Ranch officials, there is nothing questionable about the safety of the amusement park’s facilities.

“Based on what we saw, we are confident that the facilities are safe and the zoning is okay because the rides are located in areas where their operations fit. The rides that needed adjustments because of the concerns have already been remedied,” Datuin said.

Representatives of the University of the Philippines Baguio and University of the Cordilleras, who earlier raised concerns about the noise created by the amusement rides, also joined the inspection.

Engr. Renato Isidro; safety manager of the Family Entertainment Center, Inc., which operates Sky Ranch branches all over the country; presented their long-term plan to address the noise created by the Drop Tower, one of the rides that elicit screams from those who patronize it.

Isidro said they will individually encapsulate the Drop Tower rides so that the noise will be contained in the capsule. This way, the nearby schools will no longer hear the screams of the riders.

Sky Ranch has adjusted the operation of the Drop Tower and the Super Viking when UP Baguio and UC officials said the noise from the riders has disrupted their classes.

The two rides are now operated from 8:30 to 10 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays. All the other rides are operated from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Isidro said the amusement rides at Sky Ranch are inspected two hours before the park opens to ensure that they are safe.

Aside from the daily inspection, a third party inspection is conducted annually by technical people certified by the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials, the group that administers certification program for amusement device inspectors.

Isidro said they welcome if the city government intends to conduct quarterly or monthly inspection of the amusement parks’ facilities.

“If the city government wants a monthly or quarterly inspection, we welcome it for transparency,” he said.

Datuin has tasked the representatives of the City Buildings and Architecture Office who joined the inspection to prepare the technical report and submit it to the city council.


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