A former natural accretion turned into a riverfront park in Bago City will now be developed into a green space with the P19 million funding from the Department of Budget and Management.
Bago City’s Bantayan Riverfront Park is one of the projects that will be funded by the DBM through its “Green, Green, Green” program that aims to create green spaces in the 145 cities of the country.
The website of the DBM said that Bago, along with four other cities in the country, will redesign their waterways into parks to engage citizens and rejuvenate the area.
Mayor Nicholas Yulo said yesterday that the improvement of Bantayan Riverfront Park will cost, roughly, P19 million.
He said Bantayan was just a natural accretion of the Bago River before, but the administration of then Mayor Ramon Torres initiated its development to give Bagonhons space for tourism opportunities.
The “Green, Green, Green” program is funded under the Local Government Support Fund-Assistance to Cities to support the open space development program of the government and was launched 2017.
This is a parallel endeavor to the massive national infrastructure development program “Build, Build, Build”, the DBM said.
The 1-kilometer long Bantayan Park will be developed into a pedestrian and bike-friendly space and its existing road will undergo improvement, in terms of accessibility and lanes for bikers that will be separated by planting a strip for safety.
DBM also said the project in Bago will have seating areas near the edge of the river and more trees and shrubs will be added for a more pleasant microclimate.
Along with Bago, also to be developed are the river esplanades in the cities of Bacoor, Dasmariñas, Malabon, and Parañaque. The Metro Manila cities will host small river parks, the DBM added.
DBM has conducted technical workshops with the 145 cities involved in the program, focused on the best practices in public space designs and policies and procedures for its implementation.
About 100 cities are now processing their project proposals that express their interests in availing of the funds.
The open spaces included in the program are 10 new government centers, 20 public squares and plazas, two mangrove areas, 54 parks and waterfronts, and 13 streets, among others.
Yulo also said that Bantayan has about 22 hectares of claimed area and with its development, it is seen to be one of the new tourist destinations in Bago City, with spaces used for commercial, tourism, and relaxation purposes of visitors.
He also said the fund is expected to be downloaded by the city government within this month as it is targeted to immediately start the bidding and finish the development within 2019.*
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