BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan claims the city government has never been mum on the SM Sky Ranch project contrary to claims by critics of the put up of the amusement and recreation facility within the property of the giant chain of malls.
The local chief executive explained that the property where the Sky Ranch was erected is a private property over which the local government has limited authority considering that the decision on the use of the property is lodged with the owner upon compliance to existing laws, rules and regulations.
Further, he emphasized that contrary to the claim of those who are against the amusement and recreation center, the area has been zoned as C2 or a commercial zone wherein the establishment of amusement parks and recreational centers is authorized pursuant to the city’s updated comprehensive land use plan and zoning ordinance.
“It is unfortunate that there are some individuals and groups who are trying to mislead the public by coming out with the wrong information just to advance their own interests because the put up of the Sky Ranch passed through the process prescribed under existing laws, rules and regulations,” Domogan stressed.
He claimed that the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for the whole SM project was issued way back in the early 2000s when he was not the mayor and was amended which means that the same passed through the required consultations with the stakeholders prior to the issuance of the ECC.
According to him, SM management forged an agreement with neighboring higher education institutions, particularly the administration of the University of the Philippines College Baguio (UPCB) and the University of the Cordilleras (UC) on the alleged too much noise coming from the operation of the amusement rides within the Sky Ranch with the operating time for some of the rides moved to the later part of the day where there will be no classes that will be disturbed, a ‘win-win solution’ for all parties concerned.
He pointed out that all the required permits concerning safety of the existing rides in the Sky Ranch, among other requirements imposed by concerned government agencies and the local government, were complied with by the operator of the Sky Ranch thus its operation is considered to be above board and pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
He asserted the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) prescribes the rules and regulations that have to be complied by the operator of the Sky Ranch project and that its operation is also being closely monitored not only by the agency but also the city government and the institutions involved in the side agreement and there is no truth to the claim of critics that the Sky Ranch project did to pass through the required process prior to its operation.
Since the start of its operation, the SM Sky Ranch has been patronized by the public as an added recreation facility in the city’s central business district area. By Dexter A. See