The Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club will share the space at the Burnham Park with students from the Saint Louis University involved in the Safe and Sound Cities Program. Half of the area beside the Police Women’s and Children Desk and the Information Center of the Baguio Tourism Council is utilized as the Camp Peppot of the BCBC during the Holy Week and serves as command center for its Lucky Summer Visitors. The BCBC will now
have a neighbor where pets, especially dogs, will find a recreation center.

During a meeting Thursday set up by City Environment and Parks Management Office assistant head engineer Marivic Empizo and parks supervisor Joseph Hermogeno between the BCBC and the Sulong Bayan is a Baguio-based youth-serving organization, the latter agreed to instead utilize the right portion of the area instead of their earlier proposal to make use of the area used by the media organization. BCBC president Thomas Picana said that the
organization will beautify “Camp Peppot” this year during his term as he will be linking with the Lions Session where he is the vice president to upgrade the area.

“It will be a project under my term as BCBC president and as a vice president of the civic oriented organization,” said
Picana, publisher and editor of the Amianan Balita Ngayon. He said that it will be a joint undertaking between the media organization and the civic oriented group. When asked if they are willing to relocate at the other side of the area, project head Audrey Pahayahay immediately agreed and asked her colleague Arturo Flores, Jr., an archit4ectural student of Saint Louis University, agreed to alter his design and make use of the other half of area.

Payahayay said that the design involves a permanent structure that will make it difficult to relocate during the week long Media Camp and future project and hinder movement. Camp Peppot serves also as a picnic area during the
Media Camp and spectators area during programs. Picana said that he will encourage members of the BCBC to support the Sulong Bayan’s program which will have a playground for dogs. The group composed of SLU students from the different schools and departments like Payahayay who is a third year BS Psychology student, Dhenizlyn Dumanas, financial director, from the management school and BS Medical Technology student Dhen Lorenzana, a member of the group’s board.

Established in 2020, Sulong Bayan, said Pahayahay said their group is: ”mainly focused on continually exercising collaborative effort with other local youth organizations, advocating for positive youth development, and, most importantly, upholding altruistic volunteerism.” Founded during the typhoon Ulysses “through a donation drive until our advocacy extend(ed) to animal welfare. Their plan to be part of the Safe and Sound Cities (S2Cities) Program led them to join the “Liwliwa Ya Sursuro” Youth Innovation Challenge, which “is an innovation incubation program under the Safe and Sound Cities Program that aims to gather youth innovators, leaders, and inspiring
thinkers to facilitate co-creation, idea, and design development of innovative solutions to help solve
urban safety issues in the city.”

She added: “The Safe and Sound Cities (S2Cities) Program is a global initiative to improve young people’s safety and well-being in urban environments through a cyclical process of system understanding, building capacities, prototyping solutions, and enhancing and scaling solutions. Locally, the program is facilitated by the Cordilleran Youth Center, Inc.” “We submitted the pet park proposal as our entry for the Liwliwa Ya Sursuro Innovation
Challenge,” she said. The Challenge started in August last year with the announcement of winners last January 13
where “fortunately, we were one of them.”

She said the “CEPMO played a really big part in our success since Atty. (Rhenan) Diwas showed his support by approving our feasibility study days before the final pitching po,” she said. She added: “We were also able to receive warm support from FURVENT, an animal welfare organization here in Baguio.” She said that they were able to get the ideas from all of their members who are all pet owners. She said: “The overall idea was a suggestion and only a dream when I was able to visit Davao and saw how progressive their city is. Davao has a beautiful pet park and I think parks are a crucial factor to increasing the well-being and living standards of our constituents.”

To be named Happy Paws Pet Park, it will be “a haven dedicated to creating unforgettable moments for every furry companion. This innovation will be all about community links and relationships because Sulong Bayan believes that a smart, safe and sound city does not only excel with technology but also with links that are human-human, human-nature and the familial links between pets and their owners. These are the links that inspire us to appreciate Baguio as our home.”

Pigeon Lobien/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon