BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan expressed the local government’s gratitude to all those who were instrumental in facilitating the allocation of the P180 million from the annual budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) purposely for the initial rehabilitation of the city-owned Baguio Convention Center, the city’s premier convention facility.
The local chief executive revealed that Public Works Undersecretary Cabral, who was then an Assistant Secretary of the agency during her visit to the city early last year, was actually instrumental in working out the inclusion of the initial funding for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Baguio Convention Center in the agency’s budget next year.
“We have to give the appropriate credit to whoever provided the assistance to the local government for the inclusion of the funds in next year’s budget because it will be a great help in starting the rehabilitation and upgrading of the convention center to be at part with other convention facilities in the different parts of the country,” Domogan stressed.
During Undersecretary Cabral’s visit to the city, she inquired from Mayor Domogan and City Planning and Development Officer Engr. Evelyn G. Cayat the priority programs of the local government that needed funding assistance from the national government so that she would help in sourcing out funds for such projects.
The matter on the long overdue rehabilitation of the Baguio Convention Center was the one brought to the attention of Undersecretary Cabral, with an initial amount of P200 million which she personally took into consideration and fought for to include of the amount in the agency’s budget next year.
However, the proposed project cost was reduced to P180 million when it was finalized by the agency when it submitted its proposed 2018 budget to Congress for deliberations.
Domogan added that former Kabayan Partylist Representative and now Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque also presented himself as one of those who facilitated the inclusion of the funds to the agency’s budget and helped defend its inclusion in the budget during the deliberations of the budget in the House of Representative.
According to him, credit is also due to Rep. Mark Go for making sure that the proposed fund for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Baguio Convention Center will remain in the final list of projects that were approved by the House before the national budget was transmitted to the Senate for its current deliberations.
He expressed confidence that the DPWH regional office will be able to bid out the project by December so it could immediately award the project to the wining contractor once the funds are certified as available by the budget department, once the P3.76 trillion national budget is signed by the President into law.
The joint technical working group of the local government and the DPWH-CAR was able to timely submit the comprehensive master development plan of the Baguio Convention Center where the initial P180 million will be used while awaiting future funding assistance from the concerned government agencies, particularly the convergence program of the tourism and public works departments.
By Dexter A. See