THE CITY Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo) recommends the review of the Burnham Park master development plan prepared and donated by the University of the Cordilleras (UC) to incorporate the current use of various portions of the city’s premier park to serve as guide for future plans.

Cepmo officer Cordelia Lacsamana said it has been at least eight years since the Burnham master plan was turned over to the local government by UC which spent over P1.9 million just to give the city a gift for its centennial anniversary in 2009.

However, the local legislative body failed to approve the proposed master plan that rendered it inoperative and was shelved for the eight years.

Lacsamana said whatever future plans for the development of Burnham Park will have to make reference to the UC plan because it is already complete and what needs to be done is to update and revisit the plan for changes.

The 34-hectare Burnham Park was named after American urban planner who produced the city’s master plan during the American colonial period when it was declared as a chartered city by the Philippine Commission on September 9, 2009.

“It is high time for us to revisit and review the proposed Burnham Park master plan donated by the UC administration as its gift to the city when it celebrated its centennial anniversary. We should incorporate all the appropriate uses that conform with the prevailing trends,” Lacsamana stressed.

At the same time, Lacsamana called on all individuals and groups wanting to use portions of Burnham Park to coordinate the matter with their office, the one in charge of the park, as she had been receiving a number of complaints about the alleged collection of fees for private initiatives that have been the subject of audit observations of the Commission on Audit.

However, she admitted CEPMO does not have the technical capability to conduct a review of the proposed Burnham Park development plan thus the need for the involvement of all stakeholders because the plan is architecturally and engineering-based and thus the need for experts in these fields to be the ones to undertake the review and make the appropriate amendments.

Lacsamana claimed she is looking into the preparation of master development plans for the different parks in the city to will serve as blueprints of future developments by the local government and other agencies to improve the state of the city’s parks and contribute in sustaining the robust local tourism industry that is spurring the city’s economic growth.

The administration, management, and operation of Burnham Park were turned over to the city by virtue of Executive Order No. 224, series of 1995 and Executive Order No. 69, series of 2009. (Dexter See/PIO)