BAGO City Mayor Nicholas Yulo said on Tuesday, December 4, that transformation of Bantayan Park, one of the city’s tourist attractions, is underway.
Yulo said the city government is now waiting for the release of
the initial funding from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) worth P18.6 million which will be for the development including the driveway for vehicles, bike lane, and walkers' lane.
"We hope that by the end of the year, the DBM could already download the budget so we can start the project," Yulo said.
He said that every year, an additional budget is allocated for the development of Bantayan Park.
Yulo also said that the development Bantayan Park is still open for any private investors.
In fact, he said, the City Council is now preparing a framework and policies on how the private investors could come in including having a river cruise.
"The city government has tried venturing on the river cruise, however, we found out that it would be more efficient and more viable if it is run by a private investor," the mayor added.
Yulo said the idea is for the investor to develop the 15 hectare part of Bantayan Park and then a portion of it will be granted to them for commercial operation.
In 2017, the City Government acquired ownership over portions of the 22-hectare property from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The remaining seven hectares are still pending for an application.
As part of the urbanization plan, the City Government tapped students and teachers of La Consolacion College-Bacolod for the creation of a development plan.
Yulo said that out of the proposals submitted last year, they were able to identify the “winning” development masterplan.
He said the development with an indicative cost of at least P1 billion includes commercial and open spaces, playground, permanent structures for 24 barangay booths, and small fish landing port and market, among others.
The park hosts various major events of the city, including the agro-industrial, cultural, educational, and tourism fairs during its charter anniversary and Al Cinco de Noviembre celebration every February and November, respectively. (TDE)