City Council Invites SM Executive On Luneta Hill Road

The city council has invited a top official of Shoemart (SM) in its session this Monday for him to shed light on matters related to the city's reiteration to have Luneta Hill Road fronting the mall continuously open to the public.

Invited was Engr. Bien Mateo, SM vice-president who earlier presented to the local legislature the mall's controversial plan to expand and develop a parking area on its property on Luneta Hill and, in the process, ball and transplant mature pine and alnus trees.

The city council adopted last April 23 Resolution 077 authored by councilor Nicasio Aliping Jr. reiterating "a request to SM-City Baguio to continuously make available the Luneta Hill road to the public".

Aliping was referring to Resolution 140, authored by then city councilors Delfin Balajadia and Reinaldo Bautista Jr. and adopted by the local legislature in 2004. It directed "SM-Baguio management to remove the illegally installed gates along Luneta Hill Road and advising them not to direct traffic on the said road".

Luneta Hill Road is a city road.

"To avoid confusion and public perception that Luneta Hill is part of the property of SM, the personnnel of TMB (Traffic Management Bureau of the Baguio police) should man and help in the direction of traffic in the said area," Aliping's resolution read.

The new resolution was signed by vice-mayor Daniel Farinas last May 9 and approved with a notation by mayor Mauricio Domogan the following day.

"The public road at Luneta Hill shall always be open to the public. Private entity has no authority to close it," the mayor's notation read.

Also invited in Monday's meeting are Baguio Tourism Council chair Anthony de Leon, city legal officer Carlos Rabanes and representatives of the city mayor's office for clarifications on an agreement signed by the city and the Baguio Conventions and Visitors Bureau, and city administrator Carlos Canilao, city treasurer Thelma M anaois, market superintendent Policarpio Tamayo and presidents of different vendors associations on problems regarding the operation of the night market along Harrison Road. – Ramon Dacawi.

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