Baguio City

Baguio City wants more public open spaces in underdeveloped areas

Mia Magdalena Fokno

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Baguio City wants more public open spaces in underdeveloped areas

TOURIST DESTINATION. The Baguio Botanical Garden in Christmas mode.

Chad Dizon

Baguio City wants to showcase environmental and cultural heritage in these spaces and only endemic species of plants and trees will be used to support local biodiversity

BAGUIO, Philippines – The Baguio City Council has passed an ordinance that puts emphasis on the creation, use, and maintenance of healthy open spaces such as parks within the city.

Ordinance 93 or the Healthy Public Open Spaces Initiative Ordinance of the City of Baguio seeks to ensure the development and management of public open spaces. The program will get an initial P4.5 million funding from the Department of Health-Cordillera Administrative Region, with subsequent financing needs incorporated into the annual budget of concerned offices.

Areas that are not extensively developed or built upon will be used for the program.

Key features of the ordinance include requirements for these spaces to be child, elderly, PWD, and pet-friendly, and to provide a safe environment for individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

These areas are also mandated to be free from smoke, vape, drugs, and alcohol, and to promote hand-washing and sanitation practices.

The City Environment and Parks Management Office will establish a task force that will be responsible for policy development, reviewing plans and proposals, and coordinating with other offices and agencies.

How will these open spaces be designed?

Public open spaces will include government-maintained parks and other areas designated for physical activity, leisure, and recreational use by the public. The City Planning and Development Office is tasked with identifying and developing plans for these spaces.

Baguio City wants to showcase environmental and cultural heritage in these spaces and only endemic species of plants and trees will be used to support local biodiversity.

Meanwhile, the City Health Services Office’s Health Promotion Unit will be tasked to provide health-promoting activities and materials in these open spaces.

The ordinance also includes provisions for security and maintenance, including the use of CCTV cameras and the stationing of security personnel. The Baguio City Police Office will also provide a women’s and children’s help desk near these open spaces. – Rappler.com

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