By ADELA M. WAYAS
BAGUIO CITY — Mayor Mauricio Domogan said Wednesday that the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) wants to deal with SM Development Corporation to transform the forested area near the Convention center into a business center.
Domogan, during his Ugnayang Panglungsod on October 20, said that SM has plans to extend business infrastructures however he hopes it would not be in the tree park besides the Convention center. “Saan da kuma nga padpadasen nga patakderan idyay asideg ti Convention center (I hope, SM will not try building near the Convention center),” said the mayor.
Leading the current city government, Domogan said that he shall uphold the previous city official’s opposition for any business plans to convert the tree park into vertical structures.
SM has plans of expanding their business and in a venture with GSIS is eyeing the tree park near the Convention center to put up a condotel and commercial complex. The 14,430 square meter tree park is presently owned by the GSIS.
The mayor said that he has nothing against the plan of SM however he said that they should not look at the tree park in Convention center but instead look at the area near SM center. With the trees affected, Mayor said that SM is willing to contribute to the development (in exchange) of some park if possible.
“SM said they are even willing to develop any park the city could give,” said Domogan.
Meanwhile the Ordinace No.51of 2001 or the Revised Comprehensive Zoning Regulations of the city was the basis of the city officials before to disapprove in 2009 the application of GSIS for a building permit for a project in forested park near Convention center. The previous city officials stood firm in not allowing any business establishment to construct in the said park amid the administrative case filed by the GSIS to them.
It was recalled that a thirteen-storey “Baguio Air Residences” was the project they were getting a permit for. The church, University of the Philippines in Baguio, private citizens and other sectoral organizations protested against this aggressive development. # nordis.net