BLISTT Council gains steam-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Monday, March 31, 2014
A PUBLIC consultation Wednesday afternoon on the Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (Blistt) cooperation revealed areas for possible synergy among local governments.
Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Blistt Governing Council chairman, assured participants in the public consultation held at the Baguio City Multipurpose Hall that BLISTT will bring more investments and development to the city’s adjoining municipalities.
“They are also to benefit as development will also spread to them,” Domogan said.
With Baguio as a tourism destination, he said the partnership among towns comprising BLISTT will benefit more adjoining towns explaining Baguio is too congested to accept more developments especially in its Central Business District.
In terms of infrastructure development, he said the vision for Blistt is the completion of the Circumferential Road providing alternate access and also open investment opportunities to nearby towns.
A study shows Blistt’s growth area for a university will be in nearby Tuba, Benguet with the city government recommending the expansion of the city’s more than 10 private Higher Education Institutions outside the city. He said a new economic zone could rise in Itogon, which is just adjacent to the Loakan airport.
He added that La Trinidad and Sablan towns in Benguet could also cooperate in agriculture and tourism with Baguio City relying mostly on these towns for agricultural produce.
The mayor stressed Blistt must safeguard its water resources and identify water sources early on to preserve them for future needs.
He said the water needs of the host community must first be served including payment for its use. Only after these requirements are fulfilled that excess water will be distributed to other Blistt towns.
According to Domogan, Sablan is set to benefit from Baguio’s solid waste management efforts with the city eyeing the municipality as the site for it Solid Waste Disposal System.
The mayor said Sablan, which has no engineered sanitary landfill, may also use the facility, including other towns based on agreements with the city government.
There are many other areas for cooperation according to the city mayor but stressed these will only be achieved through continued dialogue and cooperation among leaders and residents of the Blistt.
Meantime, Tuba Mayor Florencio Bentres said no town can stand alone, thus continued cooperation among the municipalities is important in achieving sustainable development for the Blistt.
But he warned people must not expect too much from the Blistt council, stressing it does not have all the solutions to the problems of the towns.
What is important according to Bentres is slowly but surely, problems are being addressed and the aspirations of the Blistt will be achieved in time.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 31, 2014.