DPWH-CAR, CBAO told to respect treasure hunting accord

BAGUIO CITY May 24 – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan requested the technical personnel of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) and the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) to conduct an actual ocular inspection of the on-going rehabilitation of the Baguio Convention Center (BCC) to ascertain whether or not its structural stability will be affected by the proposed treasure hunting activity of a permittee.

The local chief executive claimed that the agreement made in his office wherein technical personnel of the DPWH-CAR, CBAO and engineers of Eliseo Cabusao will personally visit the project site to assess the situation and make the necessary recommendations for the satisfaction of all concerned parties.

What happened, according to Domogan, is that the DPWH-CAR and CBAO technical personnel seem to have an established conclusion on the matter that Cabusao's treasure hunting activity will affect the structural integrity of the city's premier convention facility without jointly conducting the assessment which is now being questioned by the permittee.

"If it will be collectively established that Cabusao's treasure hunting activity will affect the structural integrity of the facility, then the next that will be determined is that if there are still applicable mitigating measures that could be done by the permittee to address the said problem and what will be the timetable of the treasure hunting activity and the implementation of the mitigating measures so that the on-going rehabilitation project of the convention center will not be significantly affected," Domogan stressed.

He claimed that technical personnel should not come out with just simple beliefs because what is at stake is the structural integrity of the facility which will be occupied by thousands of people daily once the rehabilitation project will be completed that is why there should be a sincere and actual assessment of the situation before coming out with conclusions which will be founded on realities on the ground.

Supposedly, the joint ocular inspection to be done in the facility was last Monday but it was allegedly moved a few days earlier which caused the permittee to cast doubt on the truthfulness and credibility of whatever findings and recommendations that were brought to the attention of the mayor.

He underscored that government officials and employees should remember that Cabusao was able to secure a legitimate treasure hunting permit from the National Library of the Philippines which is the authorized government entity mandated to issue such permit that is why what should be done is to make sure that the permittee complies with the necessary rules and regulations.

Domogan claimed that Cabusao even made a commitment that if it will be jointly determined by the inspection team that his treasure hunting activity will greatly affect the structural integrity of the convention center, then he is willing to give up provided that there should be concrete basis on such conclusions which could only be achieved through an actual inspection of the overall situation in the project site.

By Dexter A. See

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