Rink still up for bidding

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Friday, August 29, 2014

THE skating rink at Burnham Park in Baguio City is still up for bidding for private concessionaires.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan explained in his weekly press forum the skating rink cannot be returned for free and public use because it is one of the sources of revenues in Burnham Park.

"Gusto natin lahat libre, pero in reality hindi naman pwede," he said responding to the signature campaign appealing for the skating rink to be opened again for free for public use instead of being rented out for private concessionaires.


"Kailangan yung income to sustain also the maintenance of Burnham," he said.

He cited Executive Order 224, which granted the City Government to maintain the Burnham Park, states it should be a self-sustaining park.

"Talagang wala tayong choice but to bid that out," he said.

According to the mayor, the income generated at Burnham such as the restaurants, boat rentals, bicycle rentals, Orchidarium and the skating rink is where the city government sources funds for the park’s maintenance.

This as he reported while P37 million to P40 million is needed to sustain the park specifically for its utility needs, excluding any major development in it, the city government is already fortunate if it collects P15 million from the sources of revenues within the area.

The maintenance of Burnham is being subsidized by the City Government for around P24 million to P25 million annually in which part of the budget is being sourced from other avenues.

"If you can increase the revenue in Burnham, [funds from other sources] can go to other infrastructure or development needs of the city," he said.

On the other hand, while he insisted the skating rink will still be operated by a private concessionaire, he suggests it should be opened to the public for different purposes only for specified hours.

He insisted even if the City Government wants it opened for public recreation, it is still more important to generate income from it to contribute to the continuous maintenance of the park.

"We can allow the public to enjoy that one, pero bottom line, they should also contribute to the maintenance of the park," he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 30, 2014.

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