“We should save Baguio’s heritage sites and other areas that hold importance for our city’s residents for the future.”
Thus said former Baguio Representative Bernardo Vergara during a barangay meeting where he said that we should preserve many heritage sites in Baguio, not only for their importance as they are as traditional sites, but also for their historical significance.
“There are many places in Baguio that need protection, not only from unneeded ‘development,’ but more to keep them in their natural or former state as heritage sites,” he pointed out.
“Marami ang ganyan dito. One is the BIBAKdormitory, which should be restored to its original purpose -that is to provide shelter to our indigenous sons and daughters – who are from elsewhere in the Cordillera, but who are studying here in Baguio, para hindi naman sila mahirapan sa pagbo-board nila sa siyudad natin. As for our brother informal settlers who have been occupying the area, importante na mailipat sila sa iba at tamang lugar. Dito nga po papasok ang napapanahong housing program para mabigyan ng respetadong pabahay ang mga nangangailangan. Kapag mamarapatin ay tutulungan ko ang city government na maipatupad ang programang pabahay na abot-kaya at mayroong livelihood and job opportunities. Ang aking simpleng paniwala ay bigyang bagong buhay ang mga kapatid natin para magkabahay,” Vergara stressed.
“Sa usapin naman ng ating post office, naniniwala din ako that it must also be preserved as a heritage site, given its part in Baguio’s history. Pero, anuman ang restoration at renovation ay dapat ikonsulta sa may-ari ng lugar, ang Philippine Postal Authority. At the very least, linisin natin ang architectural façade, but again, as a major decision of its owner, which we must respect,” he continued.
“As for the Baden Powell Hall, which housed the Philippine Commission that held sessions here in Baguio and which gave our city its charter, malungkot na isipin na nasa private ownership ang lugar. Siguro, we should make appropriate representations with the owner to encourage its preservation,” Vergara suggested.
“Let us not forget, however, that these are local government concerns, and when espoused as your next congressman, let us respect our local government decisions.” he added./The Junction News Team