Mayor stands firm vs artists’ relocation-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
BAGUIO City Mayor Mauricio Domogan recently urged the City Council not to support calls for the extension of Baguio Arts Guild's (BAG) stay at the Botanical Garden.
In Monday's executive-legislative meeting, Domogan said they have already gone as far as several meetings with the group as well as extending the stay of the BAG inside the Botanical Garden until this month.
Domogan said the stay of the BAG inside the Botanical Garden is temporary as clearly stated in the Memorandum of Agreement it entered with the City Government. This came as the mayor stressed relocating the group is also a no-no since there are no available lands to accommodate it.
He added the group failed to look for alternative sites even knowing its stay at the Botanical Garden is temporary.
City Environment and Parks Management Office head Cordelia Lacsamana said they will use the area as a plant nursery and greenhouse.
She also added the BAG office inside the Botanical garden is not in line with the park's development plan which includes several improvements and structures built by Baguio's sister cities.
The mayor also scored recent statements allegedly by the BAG saying the area in question is an ancestral land a sign, he said, the artists' group no longer wants to negotiate with the city government.
Several councilors, meanwhile, are still studying the plight of the Baguio Arts Guild noting the group contributes to the development and promotion of arts and culture in the city.
In an earlier interview, BAG president Dianne Mondok said they have been occupying their present office for the past 15 years.
Mondok said the group wishes for the structure they built intended as their art gallery "to be their legacy to the city as a sustainable building using natural lighting and without the need for trees to be cut."
The BAG was allowed to occupy the portion of the park which is less than 100 square meters 15 years ago through a Memorandum of Agreement signed by Mayor Domogan during the time of then city architect Ignacio Estipona as part of the commitment of the city government to support the promotion of the arts led by the late artist Santiago Bose and the rest of the Summer Capital's resident artists.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 25, 2013.