BAGUIO CITY—In a statement during the recent forum organized by the Baguio We Want Movement (BWWM), Cong. Mark Go emphasized the need to centralize and oversee the development efforts and initiatives that deal with the challenges and problems confronting the whole Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tubla.
“This is the proper time to finally address the development issues and challenges in the city,” the congressman said.
In relation to the BWWM, a recent Sustainable Urban Mobility roundtable discussion on November 10 was hosted by the University of the Philippines (UP) Baguio at the Abraham Sarmiento Hall which was participated in by Karmin Yangot, Joseph Claridades, Go and UP Baguio’s Chancellor Raymundo Rovillos.
The BWWM’s main objective is to achieve generally clean city and environment in the midst of the city’s struggle from traffic, pollution, informal settlers and waste management, which are inevitable effects of urbanization.
Karminn Yangot, a former president of the Sanggunian ng Kabataan Federation, advocated for the development of pedestrian lanes, or the conversion of a street into a walkway in Baguio, promoting the concept of walkability. She said people are discouraged to walk because of pollution, so walking through pedestrian lanes on session road a day per week and posting signage stating the calories burned at a specific distance, may encourage people to walk.
Yagot also revealed the initiatives of some cities in the country that include Pasig’s carless Sundays and bike lanes or Vigan’s pedestrian lane policy in its heritage streets like Calle Crisologo.
“If other cities are able to implement it, we can do the same in Baguio City,” Yangot said.
Meanwhile, the recent launch of the Department Of Environment and Natural Resources car-less day program and UP Baguio’s carless Wednesdays signal the attempt to decrease air pollution in the city.
Business process analyst Joseph Claridades addressed the problem of traffic congestions. He said he believes the causes of this are time-bound activities measured or restricted by time. As a solution, Claridades suggested having smarter road networks that will make streamline network faster, and facilitate the movement of people.
“There should be designated bus stops and emergency roads. These propositions are environment friendlier as these aim for less fuel consumption and reduce the number of vehicles,” Claridades added.
Go proposed the House Bill 5464 or the Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay Development Authority (BLISTTDA), basically a convergence for a common purpose complimentary support with one another’s cooperation by sharing its resources and active collaboration.
“It advocates a holistic and well-plan for us to develop an approach result with the problem of water source, housing transportation, traffic management, pollution, waste management.” said Go.
He said his proposal urges LGUs to continually provide services and implement projects, and work together. Services include development planning, urban renewal, transport and traffic management, solid waste disposal and management, pollution control, and public safety and order.
Meanwhile, Rovillos spoke about eco-mobility which gives priority to walking, cycling and shared public spaces.
“In order to create a sustainable urban reality, there should be a paradigm shift to change how we develop our cities and invest in urban mobility,” he said.
Historically, Baguio City is considered a retreat place, an education hub, a top travel destination for Filipinos and foreigners, and an education hub because of the environment and semi-temperate climate.