Council defers action on Burnham carnival extension

BAGUIO CITY May 29 – The City Council deferred its collective action on the request of the operator of the controversial carnival which was established at the children's playground considering that local legislators were not actually ready to act on the matter during its regular session held last Monday.

The Committee on Tourism, Special Events, Parks and Playgrounds chaired by Councilor Elmer Datuin recommended that the request of the Burnham carnival operator be discussed en banc and whatever action to be agreed upon will depend on the majority decision of the local legislators.

However, some of the local legislators claimed that there is no longer a need to extend the operation of the amusement rides in the children's playground because Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan already issued a public statement that he is no longer inclined to approve an extension of the carnival because it would disrupt the concentration of children and students who will enter classes by June 4, 2018.

In the operator's request for extension filed with the local legislative body, he argued that he was late for over 25 days in setting up the rides he needed to locate the suitable spaces for setting up the amusement rides aside from the alleged delays in their operations because of safety issues and the daily afternoon rains that prevented them to fully operate the rides.

The 3-month contract of the carnival operator is expiring on June 5, 2018 as granted by the local government for the utilization of the area as the site for the amusement rides.

Some of the local legislators also questioned the contents of the operator's request wherein he allegedly stated that the extension to be granted him for another 90 days will be for free which will allegedly be not in accordance with existing rules and regulations crafted for the purpose of leasing out portions of Burnham Park for income-generating activities to be able to raise revenues to make the park self-sustaining.

If the local legislative body will not be able to positively act on the request for extension of the amusement rides by next week, the carnival operator is expected to dismantle the installed rides in the children's playground after the lapse of the agreement to allow the concerned local government offices to improve the area and bring back the greenery of the place.

On the other hand, other local legislators want to invite the operator for him to shed light on whether or not he was able to comply with the stringent safety rules and regulations and the reason for the requested extension considering the onset of the rainy season and the opening of classes.

Under the provisions of Executive Order No. 224, series of 1995 as amended by Executive Order No. 695, series of 2009, the local government is authorized to lease portions of Burnham Park to generate additional income to augment the existing city's resources to sustain the operation, administration and management of Burnham Park after the same was turned over to the city.

By Dexter A. See

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