BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan during the media Ugnayan last week reported on this year’s accomplishment as to tourism, education and sports, peace and order, health and social services, environment and other matters.The mayor recalled that in 2014, Baguio is rank 15th among the country’s 142 cities; now rank 13th as to the recently released national comparative ratings. Should we aspire to step up the said rank, we need to increase concerted efforts to update and implement income-generating endeavors specially in business and real property taxes, the mayor clarified. Cities and municipalities in neighboring provinces collect more than we do, he added. We however excel in other endeavors wherein we garnered awards, he said. Foremost concern for social services: children, senior citizens and People With Disabilities (PWDs) as handled by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), is the availability of funds; though in a recent forum, CSWDO head Betty Fangasan assured that funds are properly apportioned.
In environmental matters, the envisioned Solid Waste Management Site in Sto. Tomas is apportioned P300M, with provision for an access road. Regreening through tree-planting is on-going, Domogan also said.
Continuing improvements and programs are planned for the education sector, the mayor said, including colleges and universities. A P10M concrete access road and 26-classroom building is planned at the Philippine Science High School site in Irisan; with the Special Program for the Arts, Baguio City and Pines City National Science High Schools consolidated in one area.
Challenges as to tourism programs is looked into, including road network plans to lessen traffic, with concerted efforts from planners, technical committee and all concerned groups, the mayor said.
The Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) is continually being strengthened for peace and order in the city, with priority concern on the continuing war against drug problems, Mayor Domogan also said. It is not so serious compared to other areas, he added.
Health district centers with medical personnel deliver basic services, in support to the Health Services Office (HSO). Additional four ambulances are also available to “bring medical services nearer to the barangay constituents,” the mayor further reported.
Other environmental matters were also looked into including the continued processing of organic fertilizer from the biodegradable solid wastes, Salaknib ti Waig program for the cleanliness of rivers with partners from non-government organizations, the academe, business sector and others, extension of the Baguio Cemetery at Sto. Tomas, and the fencing of the Busol Watershed to ward off illegal intentions. The fence for Baguio’s foremost watershed comes from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Baguio Water District (BWD), the Fil-Am golf Tournament and other sources, the mayor intimated.
The acquisition of the Baguio Convention Center with a hectare lot from former owner Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is considered an accomplishment, the mayor said. A sizable amount is being appropriated for its improvement, he added./Julie G. Fianza