BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan requested the technical working group (TWG) preparing the comprehensive master development plan for the 5,000 square-meter Bontoc-Ifugao-Benguet-Apayao-Kalinga (BIBAK) property to allow the temporary use of the area as a pay parking site to provide additional parking spaces within the central business district that will cater to the increasing volume of motor vehicles flocking to the city.
The local chief executive already sent the necessary communication letter to regional director Ralph Pablo of the Cordillera office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR) and regional director Roland P. Calde of the Cordillera office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP-CAR) as well as other members of the TWG to decide on whether or not to allow the temporary use of the feasible portions of the BIBAK property as temporary parking area while awaiting the completion of the master development plan and the provision of the required funds for the development of the property.
“It has been over a year since the illegal structures in the area were demolished, but there are still no significant improvements that were undertaken, thus, it might be good if the vacant space will still be utilized as a temporary pay parking area to help provide our motorists with parking spaces when going around the city,” Domogan stressed.
He said that it will be the TWG that will manage the operation of the pay parking area or it will authorize the local government to do so, but what is important is for the feasible portions of the property to be opened as temporary parking spaces while awaiting the completion of the desired master development plan and the implementation of the agreed development of the property.
According to him, once the TWG renders a favourable action on his request, he will task the personnel of the City Engineering Office to assess the feasible areas of the property that could be temporarily levelled for the pay parking area.
Domogan asserted it was difficult to evict the informal settlers in the property so it is best to have continuous government activity in the area to prevent informal settlers from settling in and hinder the implementation of future development projects in the future.
Earlier, the area was proposed to be converted into a one-stop government center for government agencies that do not have permanent sites for their regional offices pool their resources to put up a multi-storey structure that will accommodate their said offices, aside from using the same as a cultural center.
The BIBAK property is part of Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 1 under the name of the Republic of the Philippines where dormitories were constructed that served as lodging for college students in the city coming from the Cordillera.
Domogan expressed confidence the TWG members will agree to his proposal so that the use of the feasible portions of the property for pay parking purposes will start the soonest considering the rapidly increasing demand for parking spaces around the central business district area, especially during the conduct of major crowd drawing events.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo in file by Bong Cayabyab