BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered the city general services office and the city legal office to institute the appropriate legal remedies for the city government to takeover the operation of the city-owned Asin hot spring resort the soonest.
The local chief executive said that included in the supposed resort takeover will be the utilization of the building that was constructed by the city government during the time of former Mayor Bernardo M. Vergara but which is currently being occupied by the long-time operator of the resort.
“The concerned offices must undertake the necessary legal steps so that the city government will now takeover the operation of the Asin hot spring resort and the building that will serve as a source of additional revenue for the local government,” Domogan stressed.
The city mayor elaborated that the long-time operator of the city-owned resort already lost in the legal battle and was ordered by the court to pay the local government a reasonable amount for the use of the public property.
According to him, the local government must already takeover the administration and operation of Asin hot spring resort and other government structures within it so that the necessary improvements could be introduced to make the property useful, especially during various planning activities of the city.
He emphasized that the Asin hot spring resort, including the Asin hydro power plants, are properties of the city government pursuant to its City Charter which was approved by the Philippine Commission on September 1, 1909, even if such properties are located within the territorial jurisdiction of Tuba, Benguet.
The city mayor said that it is high time for the local government to operate what it rightfully owns so that the resources that will be generated will augment the available revenues needed to implement priority development projects and enhance the delivery of basic services to the people and improve the general welfare of the city populace.
The city government and the long-time operator of the resort have been engaged in a prolonged legal battle over the past two decades that allowed the latter the continuous operation of the resort up to the present.
The city mayor disclosed the local government must already assert its right over the property and subsequently takeover the operation of the hot spring resort so that the city can decide what to do with the facility.
The Asin hot spring resort is one of the premier tourist destinations in Tuba, Benguet and that the area is flourishing with the influx of investors wanting to maximize the development of resorts within the surrounding areas of the city-owned property.
By Dexter A. See