Issue of April 15, 2018

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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‘Money comes first at Burnham’
by BMC release

At Burnham Park, money first before anything else.

The City Environment and Parks Management Office is under public criticism after one of its personnel issued a letter advising concerned fitness groups not to use Rose Garden at Burnham Park pending the conduct of a trade fair within the park.

The later dated April 10 and signed by Cepmo Project Evaluation Officer III Joseph Hermogeno directed the fitness groups that Rose Garden is not an appropriate venue for zumba.

“This office would like to inform you that ever since Rose Garden had been turned over to the city, we never allowed such activities in the area,” reads the letter of Hermogeno. The letter has no indication if Cepmo chief Cordelia Lacsamana has authorized it.

The letter further advised the fitness groups with special mention on zumba to conduct their regular morning fitness and physical exercise activities either at Melvin Jones or Athletic Bowl grounds.

Before the one-month trade fair has been set up at Jose Abad Santos Drive, the zumba and taebo groups hold regular morning activities that last until 8 a.m. while senior citizens and aspiring athletes use Rose Garden.

Information has it that the zumba and taebo groups have secured permits and have been paying fees at City Hall for use of Burnham Park.

One of the regular patrons of fitness activities shared that the letter from Cepmo contradicts the general principle that the state or the city government for that matter must promote health development.

The letter also sharply contradicted the very reason why the trade fair was set up, which is to raise funds for the anti-drug campaign of the city government through the City Social Welfare and Development Office. Promoting fitness and other physical activities are proven to be deterrent to illegal drug addiction.

Sought for his comment on the letter, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said Saturday that fitness groups may continue their activities at the park, as he said that instructors of these fitness groups pay minimal amount for maintenance of the park.

Ryan Mangusan of the City Mayor’s Office said there is no order for senior citizens and upcoming athletes not to use Rose Garden.

Netizens, who have read the letter from Cepmo, which was posted in social media argued that the conduct of trade fair is more destructive than the conduct of regular morning exercises.

Netizens added that Burnham Park is for the public and those fitness groups do not disturb or hamper the conduct of the trade fair since they are only allowed up to 8 a.m. while many of the stalls are still closed.

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