Senate panel pushes Metro Baguio development body

THE Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises is pushing for the passage of a bill that will create a development authority for Baguio City and towns of Benguet.

On December 17, the committee held a public hearing tackling House Bill No. 6974 and Senate Bill which will manage, regulate and supervise the development of Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay Development Authority (BLISTTDA).

“Baguio will still be part of Benguet but we (will) create a new entity called Metro Baguio within Benguet,” Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the committee, said in a public hearing on Monday, December 17.

“We have to create a new entity that will finally look at the best interest for Baguio and Cordilleras,” said Gordon, who is set to consult next year Baguio, Benguet officials, the National Economic and Development Authority, and the Departments of Environment, Trade, Public Works and Highways, Tourism and National officials, among others.

Under the proposal, the development authority will exercise management, regulatory and supervisory authority and will include services of development planning; urban renewal, land use planning and housing and shelter formulation; transport and traffic management; solid waste disposal and management; flood control and sewerage management; water resource system; health and sanitation; pollution control and public safety and order.

Baguio City Representative Mark Go expressed no objections to the conduct of another consultation in the first week of January, citing previous consultations already done before its approval in the House of Representatives.

“I have no objections that we have another consultation in the Cordillera particularly in BLISTT to really hear the people about this,” said Go.

In an interview with Sun.Star Baguio, the solon stated BLISTTDA is a bigger perspective in terms of the development of the city and the BLISTT area and at the same the goal to have integrated growth.

“We cannot be anymore developing the city without considering the different municipalities of Benguet that is adjacent to Baguio,” Go said. “We will try to decongest itong city natin, we connect the various municipalities of Baguio and Benguet.”

Go remains bullish on the bill’s approval before the end of the 17th Congress. The city, originally made for 25,000 people, now has more than 350,000 people.


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