DPWH-CAR to turnover convention center to city by August 15

BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) and the contractor will be formally turning over to the local government the newly refurbished city-owned Baguio Convention Center (BCC) by August 15, 2019 in time for its use for the 110th Charter Day anniversary of Baguio City on September 1, 2019.

City Administrator Engr. Bonifacio dela Peña said that he already had initial talks with DPWH-CAR regional officials and the contractor on the current status of the ongoing rehabilitation of the city-owned property where he was assured that the facility will be ready to be turned over to the city on the aforesaid date.

However, he disclosed that a portion of the property will be used by the contractor to temporarily stockpile the units of heavy equipment that were used in the rehabilitation of the city-owned convention facility while awaiting their being transported to their other project sites.

The city administrator claimed that the local government will have the first crack in using the newly rehabilitated convention center considering that it will serve as the venue for the main program of the 110th Charter Day anniversary on September 1, 2019.

“We remain optimistic that the scheduled turnover of the convention center to the city will be realized so that the facility will be used for the main program of the Charter anniversary of Baguio,”dela Peña stressed.

The theme of this year’s Charter Day anniversary celebration is Baguio@110; Breath of Fresh Air.”

He added that President Rodrigo R. Duterte is being eyed as the guest of honor and speaker during the city’s special day but there are other alternative speakers that are in the pipeline once the Chief Executive will not be available to be in the city on September 1, 2019 to celebrate with the people and officialdom of the city.

In 2018, the local government was able to access some P180 million from the public works department through the initiative of former Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan and City Planning and Development Officer Engr. Evelyn G. Cayat, who is a close acquaintance of Public Works Undersecretary Maria Catalina Cabral, for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the city-owned Baguio Convention Center which was built over 4 decades ago.

The rehabilitation project was implemented in |March 2018 and was supposed to be completed in February this year but the same was delayed because of numerous intervening events that led to the delayed completion of the project.

Part of the improvements that were implemented in the city-owned convention center include the upgraded sound system, increased seating capacity, refurbished seats, improved aesthetics among others.

The Baguio Convention Center was constructed by the Ministry of Human Settlements in 1978 to serve as the venue for the world chess championship match between world champion anatoly Karpove and Victor Korchnoi.

The local government was able to acquire the property from the State-owned Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in 2012./Dexter A. See