Architect Joseph “Jody” Alabanza
Ret. Director of the National Economic Development Agency (NEDA), Region I
Chairperson, Baguio Centennial Commission
By Lyn V. Ramo
Editor’s note: These are excerpts from his speech during the Kapihan sa Baguio, August 24. Urbanization issues top former NEDA Dir. Joseph Alabanza’s list of concerns for Baguio City as it approaches the Centennial year in 2009. He expressed concern for the vanishing open spaces in the city.
“Baguio City used to be among the cities in the country with the largest open spaces. These have been dwindling through the years,” he said as he urged residents and development planners to be stricter this time.
He said the growing population now compete on the city’s resources. Aside from land, water supply and electrification top his concerns. Moreover, he is also concerned with traffic and pollution in the central business district.
He suggests that we should go out into the other neighboring municipalities referring to the BLIST area. He proposes that the towns and the city officials and concerned citizens sit down to plan because Baguio’s problems are not confined within its political boundaries. He also pushes for the pedestrianization of Session Road to correct the worsening pollution in that area.
“Only when we are treated again to the coolness and the greenness of Baguio that we will all have that elusive quality of life we once had,” he concluded. #