BAGUIO

City sports chief wants Army out

A BAGUIO City official recommended the eviction of three occupants inside the Baguio Athletic Bowl.

Gaudencio Gonzales, city sports development officer, in his report to City Administrator Bonifacio dela Pena recommended the eviction of the Army Reserve Command under the 14th Regional Community Defense Group, tenants at the Baguio Tennis Club (BTC) and the RnR Sanitary Service.

Gonzales, in his report, said the area being occupied by the Army Reserve has become an avenue for illegal activities such as smoking, drinking, videoke and illegal parking.

He also noted the construction of an extension of their quarters and other development projects without approval of the City Building and Architecture Office.

The sports official added while the Army Reserve Command has been given four parking slots for government-owned vehicles, most vehicles parked within their area are privately owned. More than the allowed number of vehicles are also parked in the area.

Gonzales said the Army has been overstaying in the facility based on the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered into then by Allyson Belagan, schools superintendent of Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), now Department of Education (DepEd) dated October 1, 1993.

“Many facility users complain about the militarization of the facility as it has turned into a full military camp with fully armed guards and sometimes numerous military vehicles that feared by young athletes and facility users,” Gonzales said in his report.

In addition, Gonzales said the Army does not help in maintaining peace and order but rather perceived threat.

Gonzales has recommended rescinding the obsolete MOA through an administrative order or council resolution transferring the management and use of the building to the sports office for administration.

He added the area being used by the Army can be utilized for the construction of a multi-purpose building as a training facility and competition venue for combative sports and indoor sports using the P45 million supplemental budget intended for the Baguio Athletic Bowl.

At the BTC area, the City Sports Office also noted illegal activities such as gambling, smoking, drinking, videoke, and illegal parking.

Gonzales added some businesses are operating without permits including selling of cigarettes and liquors.

Athletes also complain BTC members are given priority for the use of the facility over them.

While the BTC area was given authority to manage the facility based on City Council Resolution No. 106 series of 1976, Gonzales recommended rescinding, repelling or amending the existing resolution and transferring back the management through the sports division.

Gonzales said they are also eyeing to rehabilitate the area and once developed, imposition of new regulation and fees be implemented.

Operators of the rest room inside the athletic bowl is also recommended for eviction as they have occupied spaces not allotted for them and even use the area for repairs of their truck.

Gonzales also reported even during the conduct of city activities, participants were made to pay for the use of the rest rooms.

“The City shall construct and provide its own free comfort rooms within the facility intended only for users. The City Government through the General Services Office may make a move that the existing comfort rooms be turned over to the City,” Gonzales in his report which was submitted July 9, 2019.


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