The Department of Environment and Natural Resources confirmed that they are now looking at Baguio City to be the next ecotourism zone to be rehabilitated.
Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said that after Boracay, Palawan and Bohol, Baguio is next on the list due to the “geo-hazard and traffic concerns in the area.”
During an interview on GMA Super Radyo dzBB, Antiporda said, “Meron pong study na 70 percent ng lugar diyan sa Baguio po, sa Benguet, ay geo-hazard kung kaya’t immediately ‘yan ang bibigyan natin ng concern at hindi na po natin hahayaan mangyari ulti ‘yung dating nangyari, ‘yung Hyatt tragedy.”
The Hyatt tragedy happened back in 1990 when the Hyatt Terraces Baguio Hotel collapsed after the city was hit by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake. It resulted to dozens of fatalities.
“Alam naman natin, karamihan ng soil sa Baguio eh saturated na po at fractured na rin po ‘yung kanyang mga rocks,” Antiporda added.
Antiporda also lamented the traffic congestion in the city. He explained that due to the structure of the mountain, they cannot easily make an expansion on the road network. The environment undersecretary said that due to air pollution, we no longer enjoy the smell of pine that the city was once known for.
Last October, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said that unlike with Boracay, they are not keen on closing Baguio during the rehabilitation. He added that the local government can proceed with the rehabilitation without the need to close the city.