WITH the issuance of Administrative Order 067 of Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, the City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo), is mandated to implement the full operation of Bayan Park at Aurora Hill.

Bayan Park – "a park and a forest" is one of the city's pride of place within the dense residential district of Baguio.

Accordingly, the City Government here has introduced several improvements and developments through landscaping, fencing and preservation plans at Bayan Park to sustain its prehistoric role as carbon sink, green space, a bio-diversity showcase and importantly a rest and recreation area.

It is recalled that before, Bayan Park was being managed by the Bayan Park Management Authority, whose membership came from the 13 barangays surrounding the said park or Association of Barangay Councils of Aurora Hill (ABCAH) as one of the issues besetting the said park since 2011 is the inadequate management responsibility.

Because of ambiguous management responsibility, the Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) cut off the power supply of Bayan Park on March 2013 due to arrearages for 2011 unpaid bills, thus, rendering the whole park in total darkness.

"The park is a 24 hours parking space by residents near the area, a repair shop by enterprising individuals, a dumping site of used oil and other hazardous materials, a 24 hours graffiti arena for unscrupulous park goers and an opportunity venue for malicious activities. Thus, there is a need to mandate the Cepmo for its full operation, management and control of the said park," said Domogan.

In the order, Cepmo will craft interim operational guidelines cognizant of the following: hours of operation, parking policies, definition of activities within the park. Cepmo will re-program its park’s personnel to ensure that even weekends, there are two personnel that will be on duty to open and close the gate and do other related activities on parks management and operation.

Cepmo will also assign adequate guards in the park to enhance its security from vandals and other malicious activities from unscrupulous individuals.

There will be a Bayan Park Advisory Committee (BPAC) composed of representatives from the 13 barangays surrounding the park, which is to be headed by Cepmo as action officer.

A co-chair will be elected from the 13 barangays on an annual term to assist Cepmo.

It is the duty of the BPAC to craft/amend and recommend policies for the barangay/public use of the park, to assist the Cepmo in enforcing rules and regulations, to recommend a fee structure for the use of the park and to formulate a sharing scheme with barangays for income generated from the use of the park, but such share will only be used for the beautification purposes and activities of the barangays in their respective areas specifically barangay garden and parks. (Jho Arranz)