THE move to turn Baguio’s Burnham Park into a national heritage park has been approved on third and final reading in the House of Representatives.
House Bill 9353, authored by Baguio Representative Mark Go, which provides for the official recognition of Burnham as a national heritage park, is the latest of many actions undertaken to attempt to strengthen the efforts for its conservation and preservation.
Sen. Imee Marcos also introduced SB 2114, also known as An Act Declaring Burnham Park Located in the City of Baguio a National Heritage Park and Appropriating Funds for its Conservation and Development.
“Truly, the breathtaking beauty of the Burnham Park is not just a display of its architectural design and landscape but an evidence of the rich culture and heritage of Baguio City. It envisions the entwined legacy of the past and the promising future that lies in the park that must be protected and enriched not just to be savored by Filipinos but by the whole world,” Marcos said.
“This bill seeks to conserve and further develop the immeasurable value of such a national heritage for the benefit of the future generations by declaring Burnham Park in Baguio City a national heritage park.”
Marcos said that the PhP 480 million budget for Burnham Park through its investment arm Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), as part of their agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), will be used for this.
Previously, some six years ago, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) declared the century-old Burnham Park a heritage site.
Meanwhile, in July of 2020, the Baguio City Council declared the 34-hectare Burnham Park as a heritage park and called for a historical marker to be installed in the area by the NHCP.
According to Go, the declaration of Burnham as a national heritage park is crucial to preserve its historical significance as well as to ensure it is protected in the heart of the city.
At the same time, Go claims that the declaration promotes and leverages heritage tourism in Baguio, serves as a point of pride for the local community, and enhances Baguio’s identity as a cultural center.
“This is a significant moment in the history of Baguio. It is exciting to see progress not just because of the law making efforts but in consideration of the hard work of those clamoring for its conservation,” Go said in a statement.
“Burnham Park tells the story of Baguio and is a connection to the past. It is an inheritance, a heritage, and it is our duty to protect it,” he added.