Mayor Forms Task Force to Prepare Skating Rink Master Plan
VOL. XVIII NO. 3 (October 25-31, 2014)
BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan last week created the technical working group to prepare the master development plan for the Burnham Park skating rink.
Urban planner and former city architect Joseph Alabanza of the Baguio Heritage Committee and city building and architecture officer-in-charge Johnny Degay will co-chair the group with the city environment and parks management officer, representative of the United Architects of the Philippines Baguio chapters and the deans of the colleges of engineering and architecture of the University of Cordilleras, University of Baguio and St. Louis University as members.
The master plan will serve as basis in the drafting of the terms of reference in the bidding of the operation of the skating rink after the expiration of the city’s contract with the present concessionaire Quirante’s Fun Rides/Skates Rentals and Recreation Center set on November 2.
The drafting of the plan was agreed on between the mayor and the petitioners advocating to open the Burnham Park skating rink for free use by the public in a meeting recently.
During the meeting, both parties also agreed that the lease contract with Quirante firm will not be renewed by the city and the operation of the facility will instead be bid out based on terms that are beneficial to both the city government and the public.
After hearing the mayor’s justifications, the petitioners led by Alabanza, Bishop Carlito Cenzon of the Burnham Park Fencing Committee and former punong barangay Ferdy Bayasen acknowledged that the city cannot allow the absolute free use of the skating rink being one of the few income generators where the city source out funds for the maintenance of the park.
At present, the city earns only P15 million from the various park concessionaires which is way below the fund requirement of P37 million to pay for manpower, water, fertilizer and other maintenance needs of the park, according to the mayor.
As to the petitioners’ call for the removal of other business enterprises not in line with the area’s intended use, the mayor said this is consistent with the city’s stand that these operations which include bump cars and arcade games must not be allowed inside the facility meant only for a skating rink and including a refreshment canteen and coffee shop.
Bayasen said the petition entitled, “A People’s Initiative and Manifesto: “Return the Skating Rink at Burnham Park to the Public’” which gathered a total of 17,065 street and 1,119 on-line signatures aimed to get the pulse of the residents on how they want the skating rink managed.
He said that the common sentiment was that the facility be restored to its olden day status as an open facility.
Alabanza who broached the drafting of the proposed master plan said they will consider the suggestion in the drafting of the plan. He committed to complete the master plan within two weeks./By: A Refuerzo