Baguio Day messages

The city’s top officials consistently dwelt on Baguio City’s theme for the 110th charter anniversary: “Nurturing the Environment for Sustainable Development” during the program at the Baguio Convention Center.

Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan set the tone as he spoke of the city as one with a cultural heritage, a birthplace of historical traditions and human culture, and as a “highland haven of American settlers in 1900s” which turned into a highly urban regional center.

A melting pot of cultures, center of education, economy and tourism hub, the city now deals with the by-products of urbanization: poverty, scarcity of resources, rapid population growth, and environmental degradation, Olowan said.

As stewards, thus, we promote prosperity and sustainable economic development as we take action for environmental protection, he added..

Lone district of Baguio representative Marquez Go delved on the legislative aspect; through the approval of the city’s environmental code, the filing of laws for environmental protection and rehabilitation, reforestation through the proposed planting of two trees for each child born, and revitalization of heritage sites and parks. These posed great help for forest preservation and re-greening in general, thus mitigate climate change, Go said

According to Go, his being the committee chair on technical and higher education would push environmental development through said groups. We turn to the academe, which boasts of 28M students, to find solutions, Go said. As yet, it is them the youth who would benefit from said resources, he added.

We have realized belatedly that our forest covers dwindled considerably from 70% to only 18%, he lamented. And we find our city among those most vulnerable to climate change, he further said

He called on concerned organizations and individuals to a land summit on Sept. 13 at the BENECO hall, to discuss land issues, reclaiming forest areas, greenbelts, buffer zones and prevention of further damage and degradation to out remaining watersheds.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong in his speech during the 110th Baguio day celebration called for unity and participation from all “to achieve a well-nurtured environment that Baguio deserves.”

We note that Baguio faces grand opportunities for rehabilitation and “we realize we need hard work, honest work from us, the governing and governed, so we can competently seize and harness opportunities for public good,” the mayor also said.

Ours is a privilege we can honorably accept as brothers and acting as one, be instruments for shared peace, prosperity and pride, he added.

Looking back at the past 60 days of his administration, Magalong said a solid foundation to ignite enduring endeavors were put in place, for a new beginning. “with small steps we have taken, let us move forward with a sense of unshakeable purpose.”

Of the challenges the city faces “We will never let up,” Magalong emphatically said, “we can make a huge difference towards a better Baguio.”-juliegfianza