BAGUIO CITY – Local traffic officers expressed their support to the temporary use of a portion of the 5,000-square meter Benguet-Ifugao-Bontoc-Apayao-Kalinga (BIBAK) property along Harrison road as a pay parking area to help decongest the city’s main streets from illegally parked motor vehicles that contribute in the occurrence of monstrous traffic congestions in the central business district area.
Chief Inspector Oliver Panabang, chief of the Baguio city Police Office (BCPO) Traffic Enforcement Unit, said that the temporary use of a portion of the BIBAK property as a pay parking area will definitely help in reducing the huge volume of motor vehicles that will be parked along major roads in the city, especially during weekends and holidays, as motorists will have available options where to park their vehicles and for them to walk around the city.
He added that even the temporary use of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) property in barangay Marcoville as a parking area has also contributed in efforts by the concerned government agencies, the local police force and the local government unit in searching for stop gap measures to curb the illegal parking and traffic congestions in the city’s central business district area.
“We fully support the request of Mayor Mauricio Domogan to the BIBAK property technical working group to allow the temporary use of the government property as a pay parking area while awaiting the implementation of the planned development of the area to abate the possible encroachment of the property by informal settlers in the future,” Panabang stressed.
Earlier, Mayor Domogan wrote regional officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to allow the temporary use of the feasible portion of the BIBAK property by the local government as a temporary pay parking facility while awaiting the completion of the property’s comprehensive master development plan and the eventual implementation of the project which is aimed at converting the area into a one-stop government center.
He proposed that whatever income that will be derived from the temporary use of a portion of the property as a pay parking area will be used to introduce whatever necessary improvements within the property after the payment of the salaries of people who will be manning the facility and whatever maintenance that will be done during the use of the same as a pay parking facility.
Domogan argued that the preparation of the BIBAK property’s comprehensive master plan will surely take some time that is why while the property remains to be vacant, the same must be used for productive purposes and to help address one of the local government’s major problems which is the absence of adequate parking spaces for vehicles while the technical working group is working on the desired development of the property as well as the sourcing out of the funds for such project.
The BIBAK property served as the site of two dormitories that served as the temporary lodging of indigent students from the different parts of the Cordillera who came to Baguio City to pursue their education that paved the way for them to become experts in their respective fields of profession to date.
By Dexter A. See