Baguio Latest News

Antamok ESL site not feasible

BAGUIO CITY  – The city’s plan to establish an integrated solid waste disposal facility within a 24-hectare portion of Benguet Corporation’s Antamok open pit site suffered a significant setback after joint technical personnel of the Cordillera offices of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-CAR) discovered that no portion of the ceded property passed the stringent criteria imposed by the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) for such purpose.


EMB-CAR regional director Reynaldo S. Digamo revealed that in terms of the terrain alone, the proposed site of the facility will not pass the criteria because most of the place is characterized by stiff sloping terrain aside from the separate findings of the MGB-CAR technical people that most of the rock formations in the area are said to be fractured.

“We thought that the area that was ceded by Benguet Corporation to the local government of Baguio was the area within the camote vein which we earlier found to be feasible for the sanitary landfill and waste to energy project but we were surprised to find out during our recent ocular inspection that the area being subjected to a deed of usufruct is a totally different place although within the company’s Antamok property,” Digamo stressed.

However, the EM-CAR official noted that the company’s old mill site which hosts part of the former warehouse is suitable for the proposed waste to energy plant but they said could not stand alone considering that what is being Planned is the put up of an integrated solid waste disposal facility which has numerous components, thus, the area must pass all the minimum requirements of safety and stability as embodied in several NSWMC rules and regulations.

Apart from the EMB-CAR and MGB-CAR technical personnel, the joint ocular inspection was also witnessed by technical people of the local government who provided the surveyed area of the 24.11 hectares that is supposed to be ceded to the city through a deed of usufruct.

Digamo assured local officials that the EMB-CAR is doing its best to help the local government locate a suitable area for the proposed end integrated solid waste disposal facility that is why they should not get their findings and recommendations wrong considering that they are simply trying to put things in order to prevent the occurrence of any untoward incident that will compromise the agency’s integrity and credibility as a protector of the state of the environment and in making sure that all projects have minimum impact to the state of the environment in a certain place.

Earlier, Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wants the management of the Benguet Corporation (BC) to expand the 24-hectare portion of its Antamok open pit site that it ceded to the local government so that the suitable area for the city’s proposed integrated sanitary landfill could be included.

The local chief executive made the request after receiving a report from the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) that no area within the ceded property would qualify for the establishment of a landfill considering the terrain of the area.

“We will be setting a meeting with the technical personnel of the concerned government agencies, the local government and the company to discuss the possibility of expanding the area that Benguet Corporation earlier ceded to the city so that the suitable site for a landfill will be part of the area which could be immediately developed to host our proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility.

He added the local government is inclined to pursue the implementation of the establishment of the integrated solid waste disposal facility once the EMB-CAR will issue the required environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for the project when there will be a suitable area for the project provided that the social acceptability of the project will also be secured from the concerned local governments in the area.

According to him, BC management already insinuated its interest to expand that earlier area it ceded to the local government to include that area which will be determined by the EMB-CAR as suitable for the implementation of the project the soonest possible time.

While the local government is still finalizing whatever agreements that it could enter with BC and the Itogon municipal government, Domogan underscored that hauling out of the city’s residual waste remains the best option to prevent the occurrence of garbage crisis that could again affect the image of the city as a premier tourist destination in the north, saying that the utilization of the temporary transfer station within the Baguio Dairy Farm will remain until it will come out with the permanent solution to the problem.

He admitted that hauling out of the city’s generated residual waste to the Urdaneta sanitary landfill is expensive that is why the local government is aggressive in its efforts to find a permanent solution to the city’s waste disposal problem that has been existent for over a decade now and that it has already substantially exhausted a huge chunk of the city’s annual budget.

Once the proposed integrated solid waste facility will be realized, he explained that other neighboring towns in Benguet that do not have their permanent solution to their solid waste management problems will be able to use the said facility to address whatever problems that they are encountering in terms of solid waste disposal.

Part of the proposed integrated solid waste disposal facility will be a landfill, a centralized material recovery facility, an anaerobic digester, a special waste treatment plant, medical and toxic waste treatment plant, a waste to energy plant and the operation of the two Environmental Recycling System (ERS) machines.

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.