Vice Mayoralty aspirant and Councilor Elaine Dominguez Sembrano underscored the need for concerned government agencies and the local government to use age-old and time-honored indigenous knowledge systems and practices (IKSPs) to preserve and conserve biodiversity to help in improving the current state of the environment of the city in order to sustain its longstanding identity as the country’s undisputed Summer Capital.
The 3-term local legislator stated that Baguio city is very lucky being home to indigenous peoples (IPs) who have taught and can teach many other people the sustainable use of biodiversity in conserving the environment that serves as the main pillar of the city’s cool weather that attracts visitors.
Further, she pointed out that the IPs have taught others spatial planning that paved the way for a well-maintained environment amidst the rapid influx of migrants from the rural areas to the urban center primarily because of the availability of sources of livelihood.
Sembrano is pushing for a limit to all the buildings in areas that had been identified with biodiversity so that the state of the city’s environment will be conserved for future generations.
According to her, the city government, in coordinating with the Regional development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera, need to strengthen the city’s relationship with the neighboring towns of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay to allow these areas to co-develop to prevent unabated urbanization and rapid migration of people to the city, being a growth center in the north.
With the expansion of the BLISTT growth area, Councilor Sembrano stipulated that there will be stronger ties among the local officials for them to formulate a unified comprehensive master development plan for the whole area, there will also be a spread of business and economic activities that will translate to the overall growth and development of constituent communities.
The councilor explained that the BLISTT growth area had been a long standing vision of the local government and even the RDC-CAR for over 2 decades now thus it is important for it to be realised to allow investments to spread to the neighboring communities which also have the potential to be developed and urbanised in the future and thus attract people to study, live, work and do business in these neighbouring areas.
She asserted that the preservation and the protection of the city’s environment should be one of the major priorities of concerned government agencies and the local government as it provides the city’s natural air conditioning, the natural pull for visitors to frequent the city.