BAGUIO CITY – The long-awaited rehabilitation of the damaged portions of the Malcolm Square within the city’s central business district will push through this year after concerned city governments were able to address the lacking requirements and the procedural lapses that were encountered previously that caused the serious delay in the project implementation.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the city’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) is now ready to implement the rehabilitation of the roofing of the Malcolm Square and the upgrading of the stage as well as the beautification of the park by first subjecting the project to public bidding.
“We had to patch up the loopholes in the funding and project details of the rehabilitation of Malcolm Square that is why there was a long delay in its implementation. We had to observe some procedures that further contributed to the delay that caused anxiety among our senior citizens using the area as their rest and recreation place,” Domogan stressed.
It was learned the city government appropriated the amount of P10 million from the city’s supplemental budget last year to fund the implementation of the project but the project’s failure to be included in the list of priority projects and the failure of the council to include the amount to be spent in an earlier approved ordinance resulted in the delayed project implementation.
The local chief executive said all issues and concerns surrounding the delayed rehabilitation of the Malcolm Square were already ironed out during their recent executive-legislative meeting at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, thus, the implementation of the long overdue project could be done the soonest.
The rehabilitation of the Malcolm Square was envisioned by the city government as early as 2012 after its roofing was heavily devastated by natural calamities over the past several years but the stringent regulations in the identification of priority projects and the subsequent requirements of the Commission on Audit (COA) as well as procedural lapses on the part of the local government caused the serious delay in the project implementation.
Domogan appealed to the public for utmost understanding on the circumstances that caused the delayed project implementation because the project will now push through after the completion of the bidding procedures pursuant to existing rules and regulations.
Earlier, concerned citizens passing through the Malcolm Square daily questioned the city government over its failure to push through with the identified rehabilitation of the park in order to serve its purpose and to prevent people from being put to a dangerous situation of being hit by falling debris when using the park as their temporary shelter during rainy days.
The city mayor underscored the city government still recognizes the importance of upgrading and rehabilitating the facility so that it will be able to be used when the city will be hosting the conduct of big shows that will be done by local, national and even international performers.
Malcolm Square has been previously declared by the city government as a freedom park; thus, various groups are using the park to voice out their concerns whether or not in support of government programs and advocacies.
By Dexter A. See