TEN Baguio City councilors last week expressed support to Burnham Park Fencing Committee (BPFC) over the fencing project it implemented along Harrison Road, albeit with some qualifications.
In an unofficial survey, Councilors Richard Cariño, Rocky Thomas Balisong, Isabelo Cosalan, Erdolfo Balajadia, Fred Bagbagen, Antonio Tabora Jr., Nicasio Aliping, Galo Weygan, and Joel Alangsab placed their foot down in favor of the BPFC led by Baguio prelate Carlito Cenzon.
On the other side of the fence and deciding to pull reins against the BPFC were Councilors Perlita Rondez, Elaine Sembrano, Nicasio Palaganas, and Lourdes Tabanda.
Youth Council Representative Gloria Ysabel De Vera was not available for comment as of this posting Wednesday.
The survey was made in the heels of a draft resolution by the Burnham Park Management Authority (BPMA) calling for the removal of the fence along Harrison Road.
Acting on recommendations by alderman Perlita Rondez during its meeting January 21, BPMA agreed to enforce provisions of its resolution 10-2008, which authorized BPFC to raise funds for the construction of the park's perimeter fence.
During the BPMA meeting on January 21, Rondez said BPFC failed to submit a design to BPMA as required by Resolution 10-2008.
She also complained lack of transparency in fund disbursements.
Rondez said BPFC was merely authorized to rehabilitate existing worn out fences at the Children's Park area.
The BPMA "citation ticket" resolution has been referred to the drawer as of Wednesday pending further study for a "win-win" solution by the office of the mayor.
In yet another privilege speech on tackling the same issue delivered during the council's regular session last Monday, Cariño ticked off Rondez's verbal harangue.
He said: "Calling the project 'overpriced' unjustly placed people who are working sincerely and volunteering their services for the sake of their beloved city because they can no longer wait for government to perform its task."
Despite BPMA Resolution 10-2008, he said harping on oversights is a day late and a dollar short.
He added: "BPFC should be commended and not crucified for doing tasks government failed to do," recalling earlier requests by the council addressed to Congressman Mauricio Domogan to fund the fencing of the whole park.
Meanwhile, pro-Harrison fencing councilors maintained that BPFC should be commended for empowering themselves in finding solutions to the protracted rape of park facilities and its worsening security conditions.
With the fence, they said, crowd control that usually leave park flora flat like gum on carpet and illegal activities, such as vending, taking a dump, peeing, and vandalism, among others, may be abated.
They likewise suggested BPFC and the city-contracted Burnham Park planners from the University of the Cordilleras to sit down and come up with strategies maintaining fences already built in recognition of the community funded project.
They were united in saying that if the donors aren't complaining, the city should leave them and BPFC be.
They sang the same tune: "Demolition of implemented structures is not the answer."
The councilors also said planning is always subject to compromises. However, the pro-fencing councilors likewise raised conditions for their vote.
Balajadia said it should not hamper influx of park-goers, and the aesthetic value of the fence should flatter and not be incompatible with the surroundings.
For Weygan who punned he is "vertically-challenged," a lower fence would suffice.
Meantime, acknowledging the BPFC's voluntary undertaking, the antis all claimed they were not entirely against the fencing of Burnham, emphasizing the need for such at the Children's Playground area.
However, they said they prefer that other areas remain unfenced like the Harrison stretch. Sembrano, Palaganas and Rondez agreed hedges would do magic instead of the BPFC-designed barriers at Melvin Jones.
Tabanda, meanwhile, suggested BPFC should shed light on issues being raised by Rondez on the matter. (Esagani Liporada)