CARNIVAL rides at Burnham Park, Baguio City continue despite order for it to stop operations due to safety concerns.
Last April 3, City Mayor Mauricio Domogan wrote operator Belazar Ola, president of Linked–in Corporation, to immediately stop operations of the carnival in view of recommendations by the City Engineering Office [CEO] and the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) over public safety reasons.
Engineers Renato Ciano, Rommel Pascual, Israel Galvez and Samuel Salvador found out during their inspection that rides such as Bee’s Parade, Air Force, Spinner, Turbo Racing Team, Mix Up, Biking, Octopus and Frisbee, lack safety measures.
Domogan said violations will be in order for the carnival if Ola continues to operate.
The chief executive said certifications from a safety engineer from the city as well as from Ola must be submitted to his office before any operation must continue.
Ola, however, said they only “partially” closed the carnival since just two of the eight rides are undergoing maintenance checks, adding that CEO and CBAO’s findings showed that repairs of the rides can be done right away.
In a bid to clear his name, Ola sent SunStar Baguio a copy of a safety certification issued by Engineer Michael Roces, safety and equipment inspector of MMR Safety and Security Consultancy Services based in Marikina City.
In the certification dated April 4, Roces attested to the safety of the rides at Burnham.
“All rides have been safely installed and is in substantial compliance with safety standard specifications, based on approved manual and guidelines it is then accurately depicts the final installation of the rides,” the certification reads.
SunStar Baguio got in touch with the Philippine Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (Philaapa), the national association of the amusement parks and attractions industry affiliated with the global International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) (www.iaapa.org). It counts on its members the major players in the local industry to inquire on membership of Linked–in Corporation to the group.
Mario Mamon, president of Philaapa and the current president & chairman of Enchanted Kingdom Inc., said: “Mr. Belezar Ola of Linked-In Corporation is not a member of our association. We think that it will be unfair to comment on the implications to his operations as he is not our member nor have we heard of his operation but suffice to say that we hope that he operates under certain standards and procedures that will ensure the safety and well-being of the riding public.”
“As to safety guidelines to be checked, one can liken an amusement park or carnival ride to a motor vehicle. A car or motorcycle has an owner’s manual that prescribes proper operation and basic maintenance. The car or motorcycle service center has the full service & maintenance manual as well as the capability to perform such actions. Amusement ride manufacturers provide detailed manuals for installation, operations and maintenance. These guidelines are the best source of information on how to keep the particular ride and its operating system safe,” Mamon explained.
Mamon said most fixed parks, as well as other leisure or tourist destinations and crowd drawers, have personnel trained in first-aid and basic life support. More often than not, ride operators and attendants in fixed parks here and abroad, are certified first-aiders.
“One will also find first-aiders among food and merchandise shop staff, as well in the maintenance, entertainment, security and ticketing units or the park. Unfortunately, although doable, this is not so in the Philippine setting for mobile carnivals or peryahan,” added Mamon.