BAGUIO CITY – The staff of NEDA-CAR briefed the incoming Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong on RDC-led initiatives concerning Baguio such as the modernization of the Loakan Airport, the BLISTT Growth Center, and the monitoring of various projects through the Regional Project Monitoring Evaluation System, as well as the NEDA-funded study estimating the Urban Carrying Capacity of the Baguio City last June 13. Magalong will be joining other provincial, city and municipal chief executives as members of the Cordillera RDC.
On the modernization of the Loakan airport, Magalong committed to talk to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) for the funding of the necessary infrastructure needed by commercial airlines to function in the airport.
On the Urban Carrying Capacity of the Baguio City, Magalong made it clear that though he does not want to point fingers at anybody, he said that every resident of Baguio is accountable for the current state of the city. He emphasized that his time in office will be focused on solid waste and water management.
On Project Monitoring, Magalong said that his administration plans to develop a complaints mechanism to better give voice to the people and help monitor projects in the city. He mentioned about the management of ongoing projects in Baguio City which should be improved.
On the Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT) growth area, Magalong said he supports the interlocal cooperation of the BLISTT and looks forward to learn more about its operation.
On the region’s pursuit of regional autonomy which was strongly advocated by outgoing Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Congressman Mark Go. Magalong said he will not hesitate to sign and endorse the recommendations made by the ARC Organic Law drafting committee once he is a member of the RDC. Magalong said he fully supports the movement to attain autonomy first towards federalism as it will be a learning experience for the region in preparation for the national transition to federalism.
Previously during his election campaign, Magalong has said that he supports autonomy as it gives the Cordillerans the opportunity to manage their natural resources. He added that while he supports the movement, Cordillerans must ensure that the region can support itself once it becomes autonomous and that the transition period is properly subsidized and administered.
Further, Magalong emphasized that his work in the city government will be strategic and will be looking at the bigger picture. He looks forward to working with NEDA-CAR during his 3-year term.