P40 million earmarked for Baguio Convention Center repair

BAGUIO CITY– The city government was never remised in its obligation to properly maintain the city-owned Baguio Convention Center since it was able to acquire ownership of the over 30-year old structure as its continues to make available funds for the continuous repair of the facility for the use of local event organizers and numerous public and private organizations for their crowd-drawing events.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan said that under the 2016 city budget, some P40 million was appropriated by the city government for the priority repairs to be done inside the facility for priority improvements that will be done after the lapse of the existing election ban in order to further improve the facility.

“We have to admit that the daily use of the convention center by the different organizations for their various events has resulted to the destruction of some of the facilities inside, thus, the need for the local government to continue implementing priority improvements to sustain its operation as one of our main venue for our functions among others,” Domogan stressed.

Arch. Homer Soriano, architect III of the city buildings and architecture office (CBAO), said the initial repairs to be done in the convention center using the allocated funds will be the repair of the drainage and sewerage system, replacement of the chairs, improvement of the lighting and sound systems, put up of additional offices under the center, repair of gutters and the patching up of the leaks in the roofing.

In 2012, Soriano said the works that were done using the P15 million appropriation by the local government were the replacement of the carpet in the main hall, upholstery of the chairs, construction of additional support beams and columns, repair of the comfort rooms and patching up of the leaks on the roofing.

It can be recalled that the city government, GSIS and BCDA signed a tripartite agreement sometime in February 2004 for the acquisition of the Baguio Conventer by the city from the GSIS using the city’ accumulated share from the privatization of CJH wherein the city is entitled to a 25 percent share from the annual lease rental of the former American rest and recreation center in the city.

However, the previous administrations of the city failed to work on the tripartite agreement that resulted to the surge in the city’s obligation to over P300 million until the same was fully settled when Mayor Domogan came back as the local chief executive in 2010.

Various event organizers have an easier time booking their scheduled activities in the Convention Center because they now deal with the city government unlike before that they have to work with the rigors of transacting with the GISIS just to use the facility for their lined up events for the year.

Organizers can also easily request for a significant reduction in the rentals of the facility as it passes through the city council compared to the previous transactions that such similar requests pass through the GSIS central office.

Event organizers wanting to hold their activities in the facility could get in touch with the city administrator’s office for booking purposes and requests for discounts could also be coursed through the city council for approval./Dexter A. See