Datuin and Cariño Urge Preservation of Teachers Camp

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By Brix Domondon

Council Reports

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

IN A move aimed at protecting the remaining old and rare sites in the city of Baguio, City Councilors Elmer Datuin and Richard Cariño recently filed a proposed resolution urging the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS) to maintain the preservation of Teachers Camp as a Heritage site.

Cariño and Datuin revealed receiving information that suggests ongoing discussion for the privatization of Teachers Camp and its conversion into a shopping mall. The aldermen said in their proposal that developing the area into a mall may be beneficial but the said expansion will ultimately change and alter the time honored setting of teachers camp. They further said that there is a need to preserve teachers camp as a heritage site due to its great historical significance and the fact that the said camp is one of the remaining rare sites in the city of Baguio.

Councilors Datuin and Cariño also said that the city through resolution numbered 159 series of 2005 recognizes teacher’s camp as well as Baguio Central School as heritage landmarks of Baguio. In the said resolution giving recognizing to Baguio Central School and Tachers Camp as heritage landmarks as well as encouraging DepEd and the HCS to follow through with their plans to preserve and restore Teachers camp as a heritage site. City resolution no. 159 series of 2005 also makes mention that the recognition is to make history come alive to teachers and students “by restoring structures not as ivory tower museums but as classrooms and laboratories for everyday use”, referring to Baguio Central School and the restoration and preservation of teachers camp as a heritage site.

They further said in their proposed resolution that the city should oppose any conversion of Teachers Camp into a privately operated mall.

It may be recalled that the history of Baguio Teachers camp began when the then governor of Benguet, William Pack requested W. Moran Shuster of the Public Instruction Department about setting up a place where teachers could meet, hence the camp was born in April 6, 1908. Pretty soon teachers camp became the meeting are for teachers, professors and personnel of the Education Bureau. During the early days of its inception tents were put up to accommodate the classrooms, dining and storage facilities, and a kitchen. A few years later additional funds were allocated to construct a mess hall, social center, and the access roads and pathways connecting the different buildings and facilities within the said camp. It may also be remembered that the buildings and other edifices within Baguio Teachers Camp were destroyed during the outbreak of the Second World War but these were quickly rehabilitated through funding issued by the War damage commission. Today teachers camp is being maintained by the teachers camp director and is directly under the Department of Education. Meanwhile its tradition has continued and has become the convention site for the Baguio Teachers Assembly. It does not only serve as a teachers convention site but at present likewise caters to conferences, meetings, seminars and other social functions as well as being a favorite vacation spot for tourists due to its distinctive facilities coupled with many pine trees surrounding the area.

Because of the reports received by the said city councilors they are hoping that the city council will adopt their resolution strongly urging the DepEd and the HCS to preserve the Baguio Teachers Camp as a Heritage Site.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 04, 2013.


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