Public hearing on convention center rehab set November 13

BAGUIO CITY  – The local legislative body decided to conduct a public hearing on the on-going rehabilitation of the city-owned Baguio Convention Center on November 13, 2018 to get the sentiments of stakeholders on the unilateral revision of the project plans resulting to the deletion of the proposed mezzanine, escalator and elevator provisions of the facility.

Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon, chairperson of the City Council Committee on Public Works, said that the scheduled public hearing aims at checking public opinion on the revised plans of the project to send a clear message to as input into the decision of the officials of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) revising the original plans they were mandated implement.

Expected to serve as resource persons during the public hearing are DPWH-CAR officials who have to justify their revision while the members of the local government’s technical working group (TWG) will explain the merits of the original plan.

Earlier, the DPWH-CAR bidded out the multi-million rehabilitation of the city’s premier convention facility using the original plans and programs of work, a product of the local government’s TWG that included a mezzanine, escalator and elevator to enhance the capacity and accessibility and features of the facility.

However, during the implementation stage, the contractor could not locate the appropriate foundation for the proposed mezzanine, escalator and elevator because the local government did not provide the agency with the original plans of the structure for the technical personnel to locate where to place the foundation of the added amenities of the convention center.

Because of the said situation, the DPWH-CAR recommended for the revision of the project plans and specifications by removing the proposed mezzanine, escalator and elevator so as not to compromise the structural integrity of the building and to prevent any untoward incident that will compromise the safety of patrons and users of the convention center for various local, regional, national and international gatherings.

Members of the city’s TWG raised an uproar on the alleged unilateral revision of the project plans and specifications because the same was rushed without any consultations with the TWG and in the absence of the structural engineer who helped prepare the original project plan.

Yaranon said the TWG members believe the revisions done on the project plans and specifications were not in conformity with the desired increase in the capacity of the convention center so that bigger gatherings can be held in the facility that will further promote Baguio as a convention city.

By Dexter A. See

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