BAGUIO CITY – Technical personnel of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) and the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) expressed their opposition to the continuing treasure hunting activity of a permittee within the premises of the city-owned Baguio Convention Center (BCC) because of the serious threats to the stability of the structure.
In their letter to Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, Project Engineer Edgardo Enriquez, DWPH-CAR chief of the planning and design division Engr. Angelita Mabitasan, Contractor David Sanchez, Geotechnical Engineer Jonathan B. Lacambra and City Building Official Nazita F. Bañez informed the local chief executive that based on their coordination and consultation meeting with treasure hunter Eliseo Cabusao at the BCC, Cabusao allegedly fully agreed not to continue his treasure hunting activities within the facility considering the threats they pose to the structural integrity of the building.
Further, based on their previous consultations with geotechnical engineers and experts, the boring activities of Cabusao will definitely affect the structural integrity of the existing building, directly or indirectly, thus, it is their firm belief that any disturbance of the soil underlying the foundation of the existing building will affect its structural integrity.
Considering that there is already an existing contract for the rehabilitation of the convention center, the experts opined that the responsibility of ensuring the structural integrity of the building lies with the contractor and the DPWH-CAR.
The experts recommended since there are bore holes at the basement of the building that were already drilled by Cabusao and his company before the start of the project, the group requested the treasure hunter to restore immediately the area to its original condition by filling the said holes through grouting to ensure that any voids or cavities which may have resulted from their previous treasure hunting activity will be addressed and that the same must be done at Cabusao’s own expense.
The Baguio Convention Center rehabilitation project is now under contract with EGB Construction/Spideron Construction Co. with a duration of 360 calendar days starting from March 4, 2018.
With the extent of expected repair and rehabilitation works on the facility, the experts ruled that the said duration is just enough for such an extensive work and with the agency’s program of 1-year cash-based allocation which requires that all projects should be completed within the calendar year, the contractor is required to crash program to ensure that the project will be completed by December this year.
According to them, the critical activities of the repair and rehabilitation work is at the basement of the building which is the location of the treasure hunting activity and that the contractor is maximizing works at the basement so that all works, specially drainage works would be completed before the onset of the typhoon months.
The experts claimed suspending works to give way for the treasure hunting activity would jeopardize the timely completion of the project, thus, the need for the treasure hunting activity to stop to allow the smooth implementation of the project.
By Dexter A. See