Council Indorses Rehab Project for Grandstand Bleachers at the Athletic Bowl

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By Briccio Cesar Domondon

The Council Reports

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


THE City Council finally gave its nod Monday for the repair, rehabilitation and improvement of a portion of the bleachers at the grandstand of the Athletic bowl within Burnham Park which is to be funded and carried out by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) through the initiative of Baguio Congressman Nicasio M. Aliping.

During its deliberation on the matter the city council listened to the clarification and additional information provided by invited resource persons regarding the said project costing 14.7 million pesos and covering 96 linear meters of the bleachers of the grandstand located at the left side of the entrance to the Athletic bowl. The invited guests included Engineer Alexander Castaneda, District Engineer of the Baguio City District Engineering Office of the DPWH-CAR, his Chief Planning Engineer for the project Engineer Cesario Rillera, OIC City Buildings and Architecture Officer Architect Johnny Degay and Mr. Lito Pangilinan from the office of the Congressman.

As explained by Engr. Rillera, the program of work involved in the said project entails the demolition of 96 linear meters of the existing dilapidated bleachers, its repair and improvement to meet the required standards, the removal and replacement of the old roof and posts and the introduction of improvements to rehabilitate that portion of the grandstand and within the limits of the budget allocated for the purpose. It was admitted by Engr. Rillera that considering the budget provided for the project they can only repair and rehabilitate 96 linear meters out of the total 128 linear meters of bleachers of that portion of the grandstand. He also revealed to the city council, upon query by the members as to whether offices can be accommodated in the said project, that beneath the bleachers are spaces covering about four spans which can be converted into offices although not covered by the existing budget. Furthermore, according to Engr. Rillera they were informed during their talks with the city mayor and other concerned offices that the office to be constructed beneath the rehabilitated bleachers will be assigned to the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) headed by Ms. Cordelia Lacsamana and that the funding for the said office might come from the city.

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Upon learning of this information, City Councilor Faustino Olowan as well as other members of the august body came out with opinions that spaces beneath the bleachers should be utilized for sports facilities or activities and not as an extension office of the CEPMO. There were also questions raised by the legislators after they came to know that the design for the repair, rehabilitation and improvement of the bleachers did not accurately conform to the designs embodied in the master development plan of Burnham Park and the Athletic Bowl as crafted and submitted by the University of the Cordilleras to the city.

Although admittedly and upon inquiry, it also came to light during the discussions that the city had not yet approved the said master development plan of UC for purposes of the Burnham Park and Athletic Bowl development.

Several of the City councilors also pointed out that while the project is already to be bidded out there has been no proper consultation with other concerned agencies of the government such as the Department of Tourism which still owns the said park. In his explanation Architect Degay of the CBAO said that the project was coordinated with offices of the city government such as the CBAO, CEPMO and the city mayor’s office but that it was not coordinated with nor consulted with the DOT.

For his part, Mr. Lito Pangilinan of the Congressman’s Office read a short note by the Congressman in connection with the said project and it stated that the repair, rehabilitation and improvement of the bleachers at the grandstand has long been delayed and that the prosecution of the project must be done forthwith for the benefit of those who will utilize it.

As admitted by the invited guests, the main purpose of the project is in connection with the holding of the Cordillera Regional Athletic Association (CARAA) meet scheduled for February next year here in the city of Baguio.

After due deliberation the city council gave its nod to support the said project albeit with the condition that the spaces beneath the bleachers to the rehabilitation shall be utilized for sports purposes.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 13, 2014.

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