One-day closure of parks and market proposed

A VIRUS has inadvertently started the Baguio rehabilitation program.

Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan said it seems the clamor to rehabilitate Baguio has begun with the closure of the city to tourism and flocks of visitors.

The once contested closure of the city has been welcomed in the light of a worldwide pandemic, setting aside profit and the moniker of a mountain resort for health and safety.

Weygan-Allan said after restrictions are lifted, she is pushing for a one–day closure of city parks, hiking paths and the market to maintain sanitation, environment maintenance and reduction of pollutants.

The city lawmaker added the effect of the cordoning off of parks has allowed sites to rehabilitate in terms of environmental impact and should be used to rehabilitate and maintain refurbish.

“Maganda ang effect sa environment and maintenance, these are two aspects; the environment and maintenance,” the councilor said.

Allan said skeletal teams may still be employed to maintain the areas when closed, giving income to selected teams.

“This has been a general practice worldwide, to have one day closure for parks, and maybe it is time that we adopt it,” explaining the lesser people flocking to these sites will decrease pollutants and allow maintenance works to continue.

Weygan-Allan explained when there are lesser people, the vegetation, fauna and trees will grow more and become more vibrant.

Alec Mapalo, Baguio City Tourism officer, earlier presented a tourism plan for the city which details how the sector will now deal life after the pandemic.

Mapalo is asking for the amendment of the City Tourism Code 2009 for the inclusion of the sustainable, responsible and green tourism concept and the adoption of a new Baguio Convention Center operations policies and guidelines.

The tourism officer also asks for a strict registration and standards regulation for all tourism-oriented and tourism-related establishments and individual practitioners as well as regulation and monitoring guidelines for tourism-oriented and tourism-related establishments and practitioners transacting and operating online, including online booking portals.

Allan added the scheme of keeping the Baguio Public Market closed during Sundays is also a welcome move to keep it clean as sanitation has been placed with a rat catching challenge yielding 1,766 rodents a month.

The lechon section topped the contest with a catching rate of 7.9 followed by Pines meat mart with 7.4 and entrails section with 7.29. The result was computed based on the ratio of the output and the number of stalls operating during the enhanced community quarantine period.

The city has given cash prizes of P20,000, P10,000 and P5,000 to winners per market section.

Market superintendent Fernando Ragma Jr. said all sections in the top ten will be given certificates of appreciation for active participation and that he will recommend to the Baguio City Market Authority (BCMA) that cash incentives be given for the section and stall owner who trapped the highest number of rats.

The fish extension section had the biggest haul at 536 followed by the entrails with 248 rats trapped from April 1 to 30. Fish section had 84 stalls operating while entrails had 34. Lechon Section had 79 with only 10 stalls open.

Ragma said that as recommended by the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office under Drs. Brigit Piok and Silardo Bested, the activity will continue even after the contest until such time that the rodents have been totally eradicated. (With PR)


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