BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan expressed confidence that technical personnel of the Cordillera Office of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) and the local government’s technical working group (TWG) will come to terms on the on-going implementation of the multi-million rehabilitation of the city-owned Baguio Convention Center to avoid unnecessary delays in the completion of the project which will affect the city’s future hosting of major gatherings in the city.
The local chief executive underscored it is important for the DPWH-CAR to come out with an acceptable technical justification that led to the eventual revision of the proposed project plans and specifications to avoid suspicion that the revision was only done to suit the interest of the agency.
“We will not object to the revised project plans and specifications if the implementing agency can justify technical issues that warranted the revision of the original plans. We also do not want to delay the implementation of the project that is why we requested the contractor to proceed with the non-controversial items on the project plans while awaiting the issues on the mezzanine, escalator and elevator to be resolved by the technical people,” Domogan stressed.
He said the items on the convention center’s mezzanine, escalator and elevator are equally important because it will serve as an added feature of the government facility aside from helping increase the capacity of the convention center so that more groups will be encouraged to hold their local, regional, national and international gatherings in the city using the rehabilitated convention facility.
According to him, it is important is for the city’s premier convention facility to be upgraded and improved as it was built over four decades ago thereby warranting the facelift of some of its amenities to conform with the prevailing trends of a state-of-the-art convention center.
The Baguio Convention Center was built by the Ministry of Human Settlements purposely to serve as a venue for the world chess championship between Anatoly Karpov and Victor Korchnoi.
The local government acquired ownership of the facility with the its share from the lease rentals of the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone lodged with the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and internally generated funds for the city.
Initially, the local government introduced minor repairs inside the facility to improve the interior of the convention center as well as its roofing and internal wirings but the same was not enough to provide a significant improvement on the state of the government structure.
The multi-million rehabilitation of the center started in March this year and is expected to be completed by February next year pursuant to the 360-day duration of the rehabilitation contract.
By Dexter A. See