‘Takeover’ of Cordillera House stirs hornet’s nest

>> Wednesday, July 19, 2017


The plan of Malacanang officials to turn Philippine Information Agency regional office across The Mansion in Baguio has stirred a hornet’s nest.
Local journalists are opposed to the government plan to turn the Cordillera House or Lualhati Guest House, now being used by the PIA, into a cottage for the executive secretary.
The PIA, which was given until August to move out is scouting for a new site to set up office. With this, they will have to pay rent while the executive secretary can stay there with his entourage every time he comes to Baguio. This is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
The Office of the President’s Finance and Administration Office wrote PIA Director General Harold Clavite in May asking PIA-CAR to turn over the property to the OP’s Asset Management Office for renovation and conversion. The house is actually sturdy and should be retained for its historical significance.
Deputy Executive Secretary Rizalina Justol said the executive secretary, who is tasked with assisting the president in running the executive branch, could easily access the Baguio Mansion House from the Lualhati Guest House. “It will also be used as venue for meetings, fora and other official functions,” Justol added in her letter.
Justol claimed the OP-Property Inventory Team inspected the building in March and found that it “is already weak and dilapidated and needs major renovation or improvement and refurbishment.”
Now pundits are saying the team must have had weak eyes even and some imaginative officials must be hoping to get some money from the so-called “renovation.”  Commentators are saying they must have seen the scenic and cool place they would like it to become their vacation house.
Media organizations in the city, including the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-Baguio Benguet, Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club and the National Correspondents Club of Baguio, oppose the move.
NUJP-Baguio Benguet chapter chairman Kimberly Quitasol said PIA-CAR has been using the building since 2005. Quitasol said the building, which, she said is not dilapidated, had been a center for media training, seminars, meetings, caucuses, conferences and assemblies, or get togethers.
 “For all its historical significance and usefulness to local journalism and to the public, we plead with the Office of the President to retain the former Lualhati Cottage as the PIA’s hub.”
The BCBC, in a resolution, also urged Duterte to preserve the building because it has “established a sense of community among local officials and the media community, both local and national.” 
The building, Jane Cadalig, president of BCBC said, “has sheltered for free journalists from Manila and the lowlands, particularly the Malacañang Press Corps during presidential coverages here or other events held in Baguio.”
 The NCCB, headed by veteran journalist and former Baguio councilor Nars Padilla, issued a manifesto asking the government to keep things as they are.
The issue reeks of rotten intent by some people in Malacanang who got a taste of power under the current administration to use government property and public funds for their own personal and vested interests.

Let the building and surroundings remain as is and let the PIA regional office retain management over the area.   


  © Blogger templates Palm by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP  

Web Statistics