Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong is seeking an investigation by the 14-member Baguio City council into an ongoing multi-million project near the Lion’s Head along Kennon Road, which he said, was implemented sans any consultation with the Baguio City government, affected barangay and other stakeholders. “I am urgently asking the city council to immediately conduct a hearing on this project for us to be enlightened on the safety status of the construction.

We also want to be apprised on the details of the project as to who are responsible, what was the intent and why was there no consultation with the local government or with the stakeholders before the implementation,” Magalong said. The Baguio City mayor urged the local legislature, “Please treat this request with urgency considering that this involves public safety. It is concerning that they have shifted from merely installing rock netting to building shotcrete.

It is about time that we ask as we were never informed or consulted about this project being built on a public lot within our jurisdiction.” City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Pena, an engineer by profession, claimed that the city government wants to get assurance that the project underwent the required quality tests of materials including backfill to ensure the safety of the constructions.

“If they can show test results that will prove that the project has no safety issues and the city has nothing to worry about, then that will be a relief,” he said. Dela Pena also suggested that the city council invite not only the Dept. of Public Works and Highways, and the contractor but also experts from the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers, the Association of Structural Engineers of the
Philippines Inc. (ASEP), Mines and GeoSciences Bureau of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources.

Last June, the city council approved Resolution No. 354- 2023 requesting the Baguio City District Engineering Office, DPWH Cordillera, MGB-CAR, Environmental Management Bureau and the City Engineering Office to conduct a joint inspection on the project entitled “Rehablitation/
Reconstruction of National Roads with Slips, Slope Collapse and Landslide-Primary Roads-Kennon Road” to submit their findings including the design and all necessary data to the city council for
information and appropriate legislative action.

The action stemmed from the concerns raised on the “alleged unstable ground and slope protection included in the project being implemented by the DPWH-CAR near the Lion’s Head” and the investigation report of the City Engineering Office also conducted in June after receiving a call from a concerned citizen regarding the project. Also in July, the city council passed Resolution No.
446-2023 requesting the PICE and the ASEP to evaluate the structural integrity of the ongoing parking facility project and Resolution No. 445-2023 asking the Commission on Audit CAR to conduct a technical inspection/evaluation on the said project worth P118 million.

City Council Asst. Secretary Dan Ricky Ong informed the mayor that no feedback had so far been
received on said approved resolutions. “The more reason for us to conduct that inquiry now so that we will not be kept in the dark on its goings on especially since it is a big project implemented without consultation with the local government, the barangay or the DENR and because again, it concerns public safety,” Magalong stressed.

Artemio A. Dumlao/ABN

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