BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the local government will not go to the extent of obtaining loans from financial lending institutions to fund priority development projects saying that he prefers to undergo the tedious process of the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as modality for project implementation.
The local chief executive explained that since he became mayor over two decades ago, obtaining loans just to guarantee funds for the city’s priority projects was out of his mind because he does not want future city officials to be paying the debt his administration acquired.
“I am allergic to loan proposals that is why I made it a point for the city not to be entering into loan agreements because it will be unfair to future city officials to be inheriting debts of previous administrations. We have to maximize the benefits of the government’s PPP program for us to be able to realize our desired projects that will benefit our people,” Domogan stressed.
In relation to the local government’s plan of putting up a mixed-use structure within the old city auditorium, the city mayor said the project will be a PPP which will include a two-storey parking facility and commercial establishments in the upper portion that will mainly be the income-generating component to make the facility financially viable considering that pay-parking operation is not considered a lucrative business.
According to him, he already met with the members of the technical working group in charge of preparing the terms of reference for the city’s PPP proposal to incorporate several features of the project prior to submission to the local legislative body for approval and subsequent implementation through public bidding.
Earlier, the site of the old city auditorium was identified as a commercial area that could accommodate the operation of a pay-parking facility, business establishments among other income-generating projects aimed at augmenting the income generated from the operation of the Burnham Park.
Domogan revealed in order to operate and manage the 34-hectare Burnham Park, the local government spends at least P40 million annually but income is only P12 to P15 million yearly from the concessionaires in the park, thus, the city is heavily subsidizing the operation of the park even if it is titled under the name of the national government.
It will be recalled that the national government turned over to the local government the administration, operation and management of Burnham Park but the title of the property remains with the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (IEZA), thus, any development that will be introduced within the park shall be approved by the concerned government agency prior to implementation./By Dexter A. See