BAGUIO City Mayor Benjamin Magalong is asking President Rodrigo Duterte to order a rehabilitation of the City of Pines.

Magalong said he has earlier appealed to Duterte to issue an executive or administrative order like what was issued to intercede in the rehabilitation of Boracay islands and the cleanup of Manila bay.

“Kailangan lang natin ng rehabilitation and it would entail a lot of investment capital. Nakiki-usap ako sa national government if they really intend to help us rehabilitate Baguio, then the first thing we need from them is money. We need money and that would entail so much cost,” Magalong added.

Magalong clarified the city does not need saving and stressed there will be no takeover of the national government nor a closing of the city.

“We need to rehabilitate Baguio. Malaki naman nagawa ng previous administration and itong bagong administration to have a better Baguio, not necessarily saving Baguio,” the newly-installed mayor added.

Magalong said if the President releases an order for the rehabilitation of the city, there will be appropriate terms of reference stressing what is important in the order is the release of funds for rehabilitation.

The chief executive said support components of the city like sewer, water and parking facilities have to be fixed as well as a regulation of overdevelopment.

In his inaugural speech over the weekend, Magalong issued marching orders to sustain the transparency program of the past administration.

“This time we will raise it to the next level by providing the City Council periodic briefing of our financials. For the government procurement committees to hold in abeyance for at least two weeks the award of bidded out infrastructure and services projects, until these are favorably reviewed for contractual obligation. All other items programmed for bidding are hereby put on hold for immediate review. For the City Engineer and City Buildings and Architecture Office to strictly implement the safety standards and procedures in all project sites eff July 1. All workers should be required to wear their PPEs. Contractors shall be held accountable for any violation thereof.

For the PNP to continue implementing all pre-designed schemes to mitigate traffic congestions while awaiting arrival of Metro Manila Development Authority traffic engineers who will employ technology in addressing our serious traffic problems. Traffic Management is no easy feat. There is a science behind it;

For City Engineering and Parks Management Office and General Services Office in coordination with Department of Environment and Natural Resources to immediately undertake inspection of establishments and other structures to ensure compliance with environmental laws and ordinances. Violators will be dealt with accordingly,” Magalong said.

The chief executive is also pushing for the creation of a Risk Management Committee to identify and evaluate potential risks in the environment and will be tasked to develop and implement risk-mitigating measures.

“We cannot afford to be reactive. We should be proactive,” Magalong stressed.

Magalog added the creation of a “City Advisory Council composed of well-distinguished individuals of Baguio City as a prelude to the city’s transformation program in accordance with the Performance Governance System. This body shall provide sound and objective advice to the leadership on major programs and undertakings. In line with the principle of transparency, it shall recommend individuals who will compose the private sector representative in each big ticket project or project of local significance.” (Maria Elena Catajan)