Baguio’s Lion’s Head to get a ‘makeover’-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Friday, February 7, 2014
A REDEVELOPMENT plan of the Kennon Road's Lion’s Head is being prepared by the Department of Tourism and the Department of Public Works and Highways to improve prevailing conditions at the famed tourist destination.
Department of Tourism regional director Purificacion Molintas said improving the vista of tourists is important for the Baguio and Boracay Technical Working Group which is why the needed beautification and improvement of the layout of the site first seen by tourists when entering Baguio must be considered.
The regional Technical Working Group has proposed a P50 million budget for the redevelopment to be implemented next year.
As the first destination frequented by tourists heading for Baguio City, Molintas stressed it is only apt for the Lion’s Head to be organized with the construction of a wider view deck and murals depicting Baguio’s history at the back portion of the structure to give visitors a preview of what’s in store for them in the Summer Capital and the Cordilleras.
Vendors selling pasalubong and souvenir items will also be removed stressing these stalls must be located in multipurpose building where visitors can visit as a one-stop shop where there is a tourism information booth, clean restrooms and souvenir shops.
Coordination for the transfer of vendors to a specific area for souvenir shops will also be delegated by the agency to the local government.
In previous years, a demolition order has been effected by the local government on souvenir shops which have mushroomed on the roadsides.
However, vendors returned on the area maintaining customers would want souvenir shops closer to the stone structure than in their designated area.
While recognizing the contribution of the Lion’s Club of the Philippines which sponsored and maintained the stone structure, the regional director said, painting and other improvements must be coordinated with the agency so as not to affect the over-all look of the destination.
The paint of the Lion’s Head has gotten bad reviews as it changed the overall look of the stone structure which has been a landmark for tourists visiting the city.
Together with the DPWH, she says the agency is coordinating for a possible road widening project in the area for additional parking spaces for tourists.
The tourism sector has taken the cudgels to improve various tourism destinations in Baguio which for several years have seen a decline in tourist arrivals due to the poor conditions of its various tourist spots.
Meantime, road side beautification is also being undertaken by the DPWH by planting flowers and ornamental plants in time for the Panagbenga Festival highlights on February 22 and 23.
Other DOT-DPWH convergence projects include the P15 million worth of road rehabilitation projects at Burnham Park.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 08, 2014.