BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance declaring a portion of the Rose Garden in Burnham Park as a war memorial in honor of soldiers and policemen from Baguio City and the Cordillera who died in battle and for other purposes.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Edgar M. Avila stated that effective upon approval, a portion of the Rose Garden in Burnham Park will be declared as a war memorial in honor of members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) whose roots are in Baguio City or the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and who have been killed in action in the war against terrorism in Mindanao and other parts of the country.
Under the proposal, the simple memorial wall shall be in black granite where the names of the wall with the names of the deceased will be inscribed and a bust depicting combat shoes to emphasize that the soldiers and policemen died literally with their boots on.
Further, the war memorial shall likewise have benches, and flower beds to add serenity and solemnity to the memorial wall.
The ordinance added the care and maintenance of the war memorial wall shall be with the City Environment and Parks and Management Office (CEPMO) which can enter into a memorandum of agreement with a duly accredited non-government organization to effect the project.
On the other hand the City Engineer, in coordination with the CEPMO, shall determine the metes and bounds of the war memorial wall and shall recommend to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) segregation and preservation of the same.
Avila proposed the allocation of the initial amount of P2 million from the available funds of the local government for the implementation of the said project but the local government can accept contributions from government agencies like the AFP, PNP, TIEZA, Department of Tourism (DOT) and non-government organizations for the early prosecution of the noble project and thereafter, a budget for the maintenance and upkeep shall be incorporated in the annual appropriations plan of the CEPMO.
The ordinance stated, to date there is an increasing number of fatalities who are members of the AFP and the PNP from Baguio City and the Cordillera in the war against terrorism in Mindanao and other parts of the country.
He underscored there is a need for the establishment of a war memorial wall in a suitable place around the city to commemorate the services rendered by the police and military whose roots are in Baguio and the Cordillera who have been killed in action in the war against terrorism all over the country.
The ordinance stipulated that a memorial cast in stone could be the simple but meaningful tribute that the local government can give the fallen heroes fir their ultimate sacrifice in dying for the country, and that the time is now ripe for the local government to pay homage to them by installing a war memorial wall with the names of the deceased inscribed in the said wall.
By Dexter A. See