Baguio Latest News

P12 million earmarked for autonomy info drive

BAGUIO CITY  – Some P12 million was earmarked by the national government in its 2018 budget for the Cordillera office of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) and the Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) to sustain the initial gains of the campaign for region’s renewed quest for regional autonomy.


NEDA-CAR regional director Milgaros A. Rimando said that the allotted fund this year is lower compared to the P15 million that they agency had been receiving since the RDC-CAR embarked on autonomy as its overarching agenda to jumpstart massive development regionwide over a decade ago.

The NEDA-CAR official, who is also serving as the RDC-CAR vice chairperson, explained the reduction on the funds was primarily due to the alleged unused funds in the previous years aside from the issues on the failure of the agency’s partners to liquidate funds downloaded to them.

Rimando reported the matter to the agency’s information and education campaign (IEC) and alliance building partners during their annual conference  at the Aureo’s Hotels and Resort in San Fernando City, La Union last December 28-29, 2017.

“The slight reduction on the funds given to the NEDA-CAR and RDC-CAR for the campaign will not greatly affect the gains that the region has achieved with regards the clamor for autonomy over the past ten years. We will simply prioritize the projects to be funded this year with emphasis on grassroots information and education campaign for us to be able to inculcate to the minds of Cordillerans the essence of having an autonomous region,” Rimnando stressed.

She disclosed  that government agencies, local governments and accredited civil society organizations are still required to submit their proposals for information education campaign, alliance building and project monitoring and evaluation to be funded from the allotted funding to contribute in increasing the awareness of Cordillerans on the region’s renewed quest for autonomy with the goal that they will vote for the establishment of an autonomous region in the Cordillera once the autonomy law will be enacted and brought to the people for ratification during a plebiscite in the future.

According to her, autonomy has  been seen by many as the one that will jumpstart aggressive development in the countryside because the autonomous regional government will have greater control of the region’s resources with lesser restraint from outside bodies and it will also definitely establish the permanent regional identity of the Cordillera, address oppressive policies and guarantee  progress for all.

The 1987 Constitution provides for the establishment of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera.

Subsequently, the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was established a few years since the effectivity of the Constitution while the two attempts of the Cordillera to achieve autonomy failed after the people overwhelmingly rejected the two Organic Acts that were submitted to them for ratification during separate plebsicites due to reaons of lack of information dissemination and understanding on the contents of the autonomy laws that were passed.

By Dexter A. See


Baguio Tourist Attractions

Marker of the Philippine Commission's First Session in Baguio

This is the site of the building where the members of the Philippine Commission met from April 22 to June 11, 1904 and officially initiated the use of Baguio as the Philippine Summer Capital. The Commission was composed of Governor General Luke Wright, president, and Commissioners Henry Ide, Dean C. Worcester, T Padre Tavera, Benito Legarda, Jose de Luzuriaga, James Smith and Cameron Forbes.

Kennon Road and its Builder

Tourist-Spots-in-BaguioNamed after Col. Lyman W. Kennon, who was the final builder of the famous Benguet road, with the help of the industrious Cordillerans and foreign workers. Kennon road is the shortest and the most scenic highway linking Baguio and the lowlands. The lion's head can be found along the way. Final construction of this road was finished in 1903. Col. L. Kennon first ascended to Baguio in 1905. Of the original workers, the Igorots and Japanese were admired for their trustworthiness and willingness to work. Kennon was closed to traffic after the July 16, 1990 earthquake. It is now open to light vehicles only.

Diplomat Hotel on Dominican Hill

diplomatIn May 1911, the councils of the Province of the Dominican Order voted to construct a vacation house in Baguio on a 17-hectare property they had acquired when the American authorities were encouraging people to come here. Actual work started in 1913 under Fr. Roque Ruano and the building was inaugurated on May 23, 1925. To take advantage of the tax exemptions a school called Collegio del Santissimo Rosario was opened in June 1915 but due to the very small enrollment the school closed in 1917, reverting the building to the original vacation house. During WWII refugees first occupied it. Later the Japanese Army Liberation Forces had to bomb out the refugees from the buildings. The five hits left very extensive damage and for a time it was left unrepaired. Reconstruction was started in 1947 and completed in 1948 with most of its pre-war grandeur and beauty restored. In 1973, Diplomat Hotels, Inc. acquired ownership, remodeled the interior into a 33-bedroom hotel with modern facilities, but retained the unique and distinct personality of the Dominican Hill. In the 80's the hotel ceased operations due to the death of one of its majority stockholders. Plans are underway to develop this historical religious landmark into a tourist resort.

Philippine Military Academy

PMAThe Philippine Commission promulgated Act No. 175, which became the basis for the creation of the Philippine Constabulary in August 8, 1905. The school for the officers of the constabulary was first located in Sta. Lucia Barracks in Manila. Later in 1908, it was relocated in Baguio on the site known as Constabulary Hill later renamed Camp Henry T. Allen, in honor of the first chief of the Philippine Constabulary. With the passage of the Jones Law, the school was later changed to "Academy for Officers of the Philippine Constabulary" with a two-year curriculum. In 1908, the course was raised to collegiate level and later lengthened to three years with class 1938 as having the last graduates of that course. When the commonwealth government was established in 1935, the Philippine Military Academy was created in place of the Philippine Constabulary Academy. Under the National Defense Act, the PMA was authorized to maintain cadet strength of 350. Because of increased population, the academy transferred to Teachers Camp in June 1936 where it remained until WWII broke out. After the war the PMA headquarters was temporarily relocated at Camp Murphy and later at Alabang, while Camp Allen was being rehabilitated. Since May 1950 the Philippine Military Academy has found its permanent home at Fort del Pilar, Loakan, Baguio City.

The Mansion

The-Mansion-Baguio-CityThis imposing and majestic mansion has a long list of Filipino Presidents and American governor-generals. It has elegantly structured building and guesthouse. Its gate is patterned after that of London's Buckingham Palace. The Mansion has also been the site of several international conferences and a working office of the President of the Philippines during his visits to the City.

Camp John Hay

camp-john-hay-amphitheaterThis former American recreational facility is currently undergoing development as a world class resort. As of March 27, 1999, the golf course was completed and is now open, The skating rink, picnic area, and the mini golf course at the Scout Hill area are likewise open.

Asin Hot Spring

Located 16 kilometers northwest of Baguio, the resort's main feature is a swimming pool surrounded by thermal springs, lush vegetation and several hanging bridges. It is an ideal respite. This is now eyed to be redeveloped into a tourism resort along with the adjoining tourist attractions of Tuba and Baguio.

Bell Church

The-Bell-Church-of-Baguio-CityThis cluster of temples is located on the border of Baguio City and Trinidad Valley. Its exotic oriental architecture, pagodas roof, ornate gateway, dragon ornaments and Buddha - guarded windows gaze from atop a hill. The Bell Temple priest practices a mixture of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Christianity. One may even try having his fortune told.

Burnham Park

Burnham-Park-BaguioIt is the oldest of all Baguio parks. One can unwind from the tension of the day-to-day bustle by biking, skating or simply reflecting on the day's experiences amid a soothing garden backdrop of colorful flowers. It is thickly wooded and is a great place to have picnics and concerts. There are tennis and basketball courts, a football field, athletic oval and an orchidarium.

Mines View Park

Mines-View-Park-Baguio-CityAppropriately named for its breathtaking view of Benguet's mountain ranges where gold, silver and other ores were once quarried. There are souvenir shops around the park offering such items as woodcarvings, woven cloth, ashtrays, shell products and other curio items.

Wright Park

It is sometimes mistakenly called "Ride Park" by some that identify this pine tree park reserve for kiddy horse rides. A long stairway leads to the "Pool of the Pines", a 100 meter long pool of water lined on both sides by the famous Baguio towering pine.