No extension of Burnham carnival – Domogan

BAGUIO CITY May 25 – Mauricio G. Domogan announced that the local government will no longer extend the controversial operation of the carnival that was established within a portion of the children's playground in Burnham park because it will disrupt the concentration of the children and students once classes will open next week.

The local chief executive said that while the local legislative body can act on the request of the operator to extend the carnival operation for another month, it is his position that there will be no more extension because what was earlier agreed upon is that the amusement rides will only be operational during the summer vacation.

"For my part, I do not intend to favour the proposed extension of the carnival because classes will already open by next week and we do not want the attention of our children and studnets to be disrupted because of the existence of the carnival in the area. We hope that the operator will understand our position and the local legislative body will also look into the benefits of putting a stop to the operation of the amusement rides in the area," Domogan stressed.

Earlier, some local legislators insinuated that there is a possibility that the operation of the carnival will be extended for another month to allow the operator to allegedly recover from the huge losses that it was able to incur because of the prevalence of the early afternoon rains.

It can be recalled that the city council granted the proposal of the Manila-based carnival operator to operate amusement rides within a suitable portion of Burnham Park for a period of three months wherein he is obliged to pay to the local government the amount of P500,000 as lease rental for the use of the area which will be deposited in the Burnham Park trust fund and will be utilized for the maintenance, operation and administration of the 34-hectare park.

Domogan underscored that once classes will open by June 4, 2018, children and students should be able to concentrate on their classes without undue disruption like the presence of the carnival site so that they will be able to maximize their stay in school instead of cutting classes due to their desire to visit the existing amusement center in Burnham.

Under the provisions of Executive Order No. 224, series of 1995 as amended by Executive order 695, series of 2009, the local government is charge of the administration, operation and maintenance of Burnham Park to make it as a self-sustaining park provided that it will not encumber, alter or mortgage any portion of the park without the expressed authority of the Secretary of the Department of Tourism.

Domogan claimed the local government is heavily subsidizing the annual operation of Burnham Park because it is utilizing part of its internally generated sources to administer, operate and manage the park when the national government already scrapped the annual subsidy that it was providing to the city to augment its resources to guarantee the maintenance of the park.

He revealed the local government is spending over P40 million for the maintenance of the park but it is only raising some P12 to 18 million annually from the lease rentals being paid by concessionaires in the park, thus, bulk of the balance is actually being shouldered by the city.

By Dexter A. See

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