BAGUIO CITY – Postmaster General and Philippine Postal Corporation Chief Executive Officer Joel Otarra promised to act on calls to restore the Baguio City Post Office as a heritage site.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong who on Aug. 20 called out the unkempt state of the city post office said he received a message from National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chair Rene Escalante saying that he had talked to Otarra who said they will fix the facility and will even look into the possibility of removing the tenants occupying the building.
The mayor who inspected the site expressed dismay over the sorry state of the building which he likened to a junkyard and a market place instead of a historical site or a government facility.
“Granting that the PhilPost owns it and has the authority to lease it out and maximize revenue generation, they have to do it within the standards. As I see it, that is not the way to take care of a historical site not even the proper way to take care of a government facility,” the mayor said.
He vowed to bring to the attention of the Post Master General and the NHCP the dismal condition of the compound for proper action.
“It is about time to restore this facility to its stature as a dignified heritage site with its historical value intact. I pose a challenge to the post master general to do something about it,” the mayor said.
The post office which stands on one of the prime properties of the Philpost has been leasing out spaces to generate income for its maintenance and operations.
Magalong said there are more than 10 business establishments attached to the building which are unsightly and poorly maintained.
The mayor said he will also check on the status of other places of historical significance in the city including the Baden Powell Hall at the Gov. Pack Road, one of the oldest buildings in Baguio where the Philippine Commission held its first session in the city in 1904.
He said the city government will do an inventory of all historical sites “to make sure that they are well taken care of.”/Aileen P. Refuerzo