Baguio City’s rehab to take three years, says DILG; ‘urban decay so severe’

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Rehabilitation of Burnham Park (photo above) is also underway.

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) expects Baguio City’s rehabilitation to take three years as the city’s urban decay is so severe.

In a radio interview, Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano, Baguio City has suffered severe environmental degradation due to the massive development in the city.

“This will take three years. This may be continued by the next mayor after 2022,” Año said, referring to the end of the first time of current Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Ano said Baguio’s waterways are more polluted than Manila Bay, with registered fecal coliform levels reaching 35 billion most potable number (mpn) per 100 milliliters.

As part of the solution, Año said he would push for the relocation of slum communities in other areas as the presence of informal settler families along waterways contributed to the water pollution in the city.

“There is a need to fix the sewerage system of Baguio and its material recovery facility to remove solid waste,” Ano said.

The construction boom in Baguio City in the past three years also caused the decrease in the number of pine trees in Baguio from 700,000 to around 300,000.

During the multimillion-peso rehabilitation that will be undertaken by the national government, several tourist attractions in the city such as Burnham Park will have to be partially closed. (Gerald Alayon/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

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