BAGUIO Representative Bernardo Vergara said Thursday that he wants the pines city to regain its status as a major tourist destination.

Pledging to give his best while in office, Vergara said his focus in the next three years is solving the garbage problem, social problems, traffic congestion, peace and order, declogging of the City Camp tunnel, immediate collection of the city's Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) shares and re-filing of the City Charter.

Click here for Election 2010 updates

In trying to solve these problems, the congressman said he plans to allot funds for various infrastructure projects.

To solve traffic problems, there are plans for the construction of a collapsible parking building near or around Melvin Jones.

In terms of solid waste management, Vergara affirmed his support for the immediate solution of disposal. He said engineering works should begin at the Sto. Tomas sanitary landfill and construction of materials recovery facilities should begin.

Landscape works, improvement of a promenade and senior citizen's area and lighting system at Burnham should also begin immediately, Vergara said.

To solve traffic congestion, the congressman said completion of the circumferential road is crucial in decongesting gridlocks. He also appealed to the Department of Public Works and Highways to start calling for a public hearing and conduct a feasibility study for the construction of a Y-shaped flyover at Naguilian and Bokawkan Road.

The Naguilian-Bokawkan intersection is one of the identified traffic bottlenecks.

Vergara also said he will work for the allotment of additional funds for police offices here to beef up ongoing projects meant to maintain peace such as prevention of the occurrence of gang wars.

He also vowed to prioritize the revision of the city's 100-year-old Charter.

"All stakeholders have been consulted already [and they say] it (revised charter) needs to be enacted, I will file this again when Congress begins its work. With my mind set to see it through before my term ends," he said.

Vergara added he will begin working for the immediate release to the city of legitimate budgetary share from national properties.

Vergara said "I refer to the P125 million, which the National Government owes Baguio as our share from the economic zone operations. I also cite the city's mandated share from the Camp John Hay rental income now amounts to about P650 million."

Vergara also hopes to provide free kindergarten education in every barangay.

As soon as he begins legislative work, Vergara also committed he would immediately work on the release of the P125 million share of the City Government from previous operations of the Baguio Economic Zone Authority.

"We need this [P125 million] to further develop other facilities of the city and make Baguio a tourist destination." (Rimaliza Opiña/Ma. Elena Catajan)