Status quo ordered for athletic bowl

TENANTS using the Baguio Athletic Bowl will remain until the Baguio City Government implements upgrading of the city-owned sports facility.

However, Baguio City administrator Bonifacio Dela Peña said the private and government entities occupying the athletic bowl must follow and obey city laws such as ban on smoking, drinking liquor, parking, and regulations inside the sports facility.

Dela Peña added the city will review documents pertaining to the occupation of the Philippine Army Reserve Command – 14th Regional Community Defense Group (Arescom), Baguio Tennis Club, RNR Sanitary Services and two canteen operators within the sports compound.

“There were arrangements before and these are all outdated and because we also proposed development in the area, so we will recover the place,” Dela Peña told reporters during a dialogue held August 7.

Dela Peña meanwhile said all tenant are amenable to vacate the premises once the city improves the area.

Based on records from the city council, the Baguio Tennis Club has been utilizing the tennis courts at Burnham Park since 1976 based on Resolution No.106 during the term of Mayor Luis Lardizabal and was amended by Resolution No. 24 in 1980 under Mayor Ernesto Bueno. Under the said resolutions, the Baguio Tennis Club was authorized to manage, operate and improve the four clay/shell tennis courts for two years only and to be devoted for public use.

The 39-year-old resolution also provides that fees collected from non-registered tennis players utilizing the facility shall be deposited to a trust fund of the city however, Dela Peña found that not a single centavo has been deposited to the city coffers.

Arescom was allowed to stay in the area after a Memorandum of Agreement executed by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) way back 1993 authorizing the use of the space in Athletic Bowl as a regional military headquarters particularly for the training of reservists.

It was earlier reported the City Sports Development Office wants to eject Arescom, tenants at the Baguio Tennis Club and R&R for constantly violating city laws.

According to the report, the area being occupied by the army reserve has become an avenue for illegal activities such as smoking, drinking, videoke and illegal parking while the construction of an extension of their quarters and other development projects went on without approval of the City Building and Architecture Office.

The report added while Arescom 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.

Inside the Baguio Tennis Club, it was reported some businesses are operating without permits including selling of cigarettes and liquors while 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 and even during the conduct of city activities, participants were made to pay for the use of the rest rooms.


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