A MANIFESTO signed by Pastor Godofredo Cawaing submitted to City Hall backs plans to set up podium parking as long as it adheres to international standards on green architecture.

Cawaing representing a group of pastors and ministers said the high influx of visitors to the city during holidays and the development of education has contributed to the traffic problem.

“With the increase of motor vehicles in the city, the problem of lack of parking space in the city has become very evident, especially along the Central Business District and along major tourist spots. With the lack of parking space, motor vehicle owners resort to parking along the roads which leads to clogging the streets and causing heavy traffic,” said the manifesto.

The group has expressed support to earlier proposals of Councilors Benny Bomogao, Faustino Olowan and Michael Lawana for the construction of a podium car parking building at the Ganza parking area and at the old Baguio City Auditorium in Burnham Park.

“Podium car parking is a building designed for car parking and where there are a number of floors and levels on which parking takes place. It is essentially an indoor stacked parking lot. It has to be noted that the City of Baguio is a very small place, and the only solution to said lack of space is to expand vertically.”

The manifesto, submitted January 16 was endorsed to the Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation and Traffic Legislation headed by Bomogao, Olowan and Lawana.

Cawaing said in the manifesto “there has been a steadily increasing number of tourists converging in the City, especially during holidays, long weekends and celebration of festivities and ceremonies such as the Panagbenga flower festival and the Philippine Military Academy graduation and with the development of the city as a center for education and business in the north, more and more people from different parts of the country are coming to the city either for education or for employment.”

However, opposition says “Burnham park is a heritage site as well as other places in Baguio, It is the outcome of a plan that was envisioned by Architect Daniel Burnham in accordance to his “beautiful city concept.”

Human activities have contributed to what it is now, but the idea that the place remains to be a distinct attraction for Baguio City means that the park is an integral component of the city’s identity.”

The group, “The Baguio we want” has so far generated over 10,000 signatures opposing plans to set up a parking lot at Burnham Park through change.org, an online platform for advocacies.

Raymundo Rovillos, Chair for the group, said the online petition will be supplemented with a people’s initiative consisting of actual signature campaign from residents and locals which will be submitted to the city’s seat of power.