Baguio officials lock horns over ‘disgraced’ carnival at children’s playground

Jan 13, 2019

BAGUIO CITY – Officials in the city have locked horns over the Baguio City Council-approved controversial and “disgraced” carnival over at the Children’s Playground at Burnham Park.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan has vetoed the resolution of the Baguio City council endorsing the carnival operations of Belezar Ola insisting amusement rides in the city’s premier park is no longer feasible. Numerous complaints brought to the mayor on the unsafe rides and the alleged bad condition of the facilities of the carnival operator is accordingly prompting him to have second thoughts on the carnival set-up.
After unceremoniously exiting the Children’s Playground last year, carnival rides sprung back to life here for the New Year as city councilors approved Ola’s operation before 2018 ended.
“It is depriving children of the park,” said Architect Mylen Yaranon, the only “maverick” of the 14-member Baguio City council. “They will be depriving the children of the park, it’s too congested, the rides are put together in such a small space and it will damage the area again without any assurance of repairs.”
Behind Ola were councilors Francisco Ortega VII, SK federation chairman Levy Lloyd Orcales, Elmer Datuin, Faustino Olowan, Arthur Allad-iw, association of barangay chairmen rep. Michael Lawana, Leandro Yangot and Benny Bomogao.
Ola was given as early as January 7 until February 30 to set up carnival rides with operations to start February 1.
Baguio’s take: a measly P500,000 for a five month operation.
Mid last year, Ola, president of Linked-in Corporation, left the Children’s Park in disarray when his operations were shut down because of various controversies including alleged safety breaches, environmental infractions and gambling.
With the “dark past” with Ola however, one official even argues it will be an alternative to the pricy SM Skyranch amusement park.
Another official even defended Ola saying it has brought joy to children while another believed the carnival operator follows set guidelines this time.
Mayor Domogan, in vetoing Resolution No. 416, series of 2018, cited the strong opposition raised City Environment and Parks Management Officer Ruben A. Cervantes considering the bad experience of the local government when Ola operated last summer. “We are learning from our bad experience when the same company operated the amusement rides in the park last summer. We told the operator we are inclined to veto the resolution despite his commitment he already purchased new rides that will be used in the amusement park once it will be approved,” Domogan stressed.
Cervantes informed Domogan there was no layout of carnival rides submitted by the operator which is important to ascertain what rides are worthwhile, what are considered gambling in character and those influencing violent behaviour among children and teenagers.
The City Parks official also added that in the absence of the required rides layout, it is impossible for government technical personnel to see where the sanitary facilities will be located within the area like last year where Ola allegedly failed to coordinate with the management of R&R Sanitary Services “leading to sporadic defecation and micturition within the children’s playground both by the customers and carnival workers.”
Accordingly, Ola is not a member of the Philippine Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (Philaapa), the national association of the amusement parks and attractions industry affiliated with the global International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (Iaapa).
ACE ALEGRE

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