MALACAÑANG has given the Philippines Information Agency (PIA) until the end of the month to vacate the historic Cordillera House at Lualhati village, Baguio City.
In a letter signed by Deputy Executive Secretary Rizalina Justol, Lualhati guest house located within the Mansion House Complex has been deemed dilapidated based on the assessment by the Office of the President Property Inventory Team, who assessed the historic site in March adding the building needs major refurbishment.
The area, once vacated by PIA, will be converted to a cottage for Justol to have easy access to the Mansion House to be able to hold meetings.
Cordillera based journalist bemoan the hurried eviction of PIA, which is left to look for relocation, as it cannot defy the orders of the highest office in the land, the Office of the President, in which they are directly under.
The symbolism of the Cordillera House goes beyond the mandate of the PIA, where former priest turned rebel Conrado Balweg stayed, after signing a peace accord that paved way for the creation of the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The Cordillera House also maintains a dap-ay, a sacred gathering place, which has become a favorite venue for meetings for both government and nongovernment agencies managed and maintained by PIA and has become a neutral ground for all media and government alike.
Media historian Art Tibaldo said "for years, the PIA has become a place of convergence not only for local media, the Association of Government Information Officers-Cordillera but it has been home to members of Malacañang Press Corps who troop to the city whenever a presidential event happens in the region," Tibaldo added.
"The venue, both indoors and outdoors has practically become the hub and studio of media events specially the regular Kapihan Sa Baguio which is a program of the Cordillera Association of Regional Executive, the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club (BCBC) and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas."
A resolution has been passed by the BCBC urging the Office of the President to maintain the Cordillera House as well as the PIA to remain its custodians.
It has been forwarded to the regional development council for its consideration and proper action.