BAGUIO CITY – Vice mayoralty candidates in the city faced off in the Baguio Leaders’ Forum, April 7.
Three of the five vice mayoralty candidates presented their platforms formulating solutions on issues and concerns affecting Baguio City and at the same time debated on who should be the best choice for the city.
Present were Vice Mayor Edison Bilog of the NP-NPC Coalition, councilor Isabelo Cosalan of the Liberal Party A-1 Team, and councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda of the United Nationalist Alliance – Timpuyog ti Baguio.
The forum was divided into two rounds. For the first. round the candidates threw questions to each other. Each candidate was given two minutes to answer, another one minute for the questioner to rebut and a minute for the wrap up. On the second round, each candidate picked six questions from the questions formulated by the organizers and they were allotted two minutes to answer.
Among the issues raised issues on tourism and environment that needs to co-exist in order that the city will continue to become the Summer Capital of the Philippines. The rich natural resources of the city should be protected and parks and other areas should be maintained and preserved.
The candidates also answered issues on the worsening traffic situation and pollution in the city with the promotion of pedestrianization in several areas and the advocacy of Walk Happy Baguio.
The candidates also pledged to stop the existing corruption which is being experienced at the Baguio City Hall particularly in the different transactions of offices. Although the candidates did not mention the offices, they vowed to make the processes and transactions at the city government better less the corruption.
The candidates also gave their support the bid for Cordillera Regional Autonomy and even gave suggestions on how it would be popularized and be supported by the citizens in the region with grassroots information education and communication campaigns.
Other issues tackled were the implementation of the comprehensive land use plan, the city market developments, the increasing crime situation and other developments needed by the city.
In their messages, Bilog stressed that for a leader to excel, change is needed and voluntary effort to make that initiative Cosalan pointed out that to be able to change, people should repent while Tabanda emphasized the need to change since people are afraid to be better.
The Baguio Leader’s Forum, now on its fourth edition, was conducted at the Baguio Country Club.
With the theme “Nasa Kamay Mo ang Tunay na Pagbabago (True Change is in your hand), the forum aims to educate the voters on whom to vote for in the upcoming May elections and give the candidates an avenue for them to present their platforms and objectives.
The forum was made possible through the collaboration of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio, the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, Cordillera Broadcasters Alliance, ABS-CBN TV3 and SKY Cable and the Philippine Information Agency. (JDP/RMC & G. Monte Castro & J. Leo-PIA/UB Interns)