THE City Council last Monday adopted a resolution introduced by City Councilors Faustino Olowan, Benny Bomogao and Michael Lawana to request His Excellency President Rodrigo Duterte to allocate an amount of not less than two hundred million pesos (P 200,000,000.00) for the rehabilitation and improvement of the Baguio City Convention Center, formerly known as the GSIS building.
In the said measure the aldermen stressed the need to modernize the Baguio City Convention Center in order to meet local and international standards and that the said facility can be transformed into a multi-purpose building by improving or replacing the present structure so that it can become the podium of a world class multi-purpose building in the city. They further pointed out that the existing Baguio City convention center is being planned for total renovation or partial demolition considering its current dilapidated condition partly as a result of the structural damage it incurred during the 7.2 magnitude July 16, 1990 earthquake that struck the City of Baguio.
It can be recalled that the Baguio City convention center, formerly GSIS building, was originally owned by the Government Service and Insurance Commission (GSIS), which was created by virtue of Commonwealth Act 186 and Presidential Decree 1146, and was established here in the city specifically for the purpose of housing government officers and employees working in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). In the early part of 2002 the city government of Baguio successfully negotiated with then GSIS Secretary Winston Garcia to purchase the said facility as well as the lot on which it stands. Thus by virtue of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered into by the city government and the GSIS in February 18, 2003, the city was able to successfully acquire the Baguio Convention Center and its lot with an area of more or less ten thousand square meters from the GSIS. In January 23, 2004 another supporting MOA was entered into by the city government and the GSIS allowing and authorizing the former sole operation of the said facility up to the present.
The aldermen pointed out that the Baguio City Convention Center needs to be improved so that in the near future it can host bigger events and activities and accommodate a bigger number of individuals as well as a wider lobby and reception area compared to its present limited capacity.
Meanwhile, the City Council likewise commended 19 year old Divine Masada Wally and her coach Tan Sui Tong “Tony” Candelaria, for winning the gold medal in the recently held 8th Sanda World Cup held on November 1 to 6 in Xian, China. In the resolution of commendation introduced City Councilor Arthur Allad-iw it was learned that Wally, a physical education major at the University of the Cordilleras and a resident of Barangay Fairview, Baguio City, was fresh from winning the gold medal in the just concluded 9th Asian Wushu Championships held in Taoyuan, Taiwan last September 2-5, 2016 and made history as the first Filipina to win a gold medal in the 8th World Wushu Championships last year.
The commendation by the city acknowledged and recognized Wally’s feat which has brought pride and honor not only to her family but also to the country and the City of Baguio as a whole.