CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Mayor Edwin Santiago of this capital city over the weekend called for the revival of the Paskuhan Village as a culture and heritage site of Pampanga following the nullification of its sale.
In an exclusive interview with SunStar Pampanga, Santiago said that the once famoue Christmas-themed park must regain its lost glory.
During its reign, Santiago said that Paskuhan Village served as an iconic symbol of the city’s thriving lantern industry and a landmark for Pampanga as well.
He also gave credit to the property as one of the reasons why the city has been dubbed the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines."
"Ang Paskuhan ay naging simbolo na ng San Fernando at ng Pampanga kaya ang City Government, hinihingi na i-retain muna ang Paskuhan Village at gawin itong culture and heritage site," he said.
Santiago added that Paskuhan Village must be redeveloped into a "lantern city" that will showcase the lantern industry of the whole rovince.
He also suggested that the celebration of the annual and colorful Giant Lantern Festival be brought back to its true home, the Paskuhan Village.
"Ito ay naging branding na ng San Fernando at nang Pampanga kaya dapat lang na ibalik ito sa kung saan nararapat," he said.
However, Santiago did not disclose yet the position of the government in terms of acquiring the management and operation of the property.
He said that the matter is still under deliberation and will be disclosed once everything is settled.
On October 2, Solicitor General Jose Calida declared the sale of Paskuhan Village to the Premier Central Incorporated (PCI), a subsidiary of SM Prime Holdings Corporation, by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)" as void pursuant to Section 54 of Republic Act No. 9593.”
The decision is based on the six-page opinion titled “Legal Effects of the Sale of the Paskuhan” submitted to Representative Johnny Pimentel, chairman of the House Committee on Good Government and Accountability in connection with House Resolution No. 654 introduced by Representative Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales, Jr. of the Third District of Pampanga who sought the legislative probe on the sale.