The Baguio City government is seeking President Rodrigo Duterte’s intervention to buy a lot of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) at Upper Session Road.
Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said they plan to turn the idle GSIS property in Barangay Marcoville into a parking lot to address vehicle congestion in the city.
“We want to be given the priority to purchase the GSIS property to maximize its use by putting up of a multi-level parking structure that can accommodate both private and public motor vehicles, thus contributing in the efforts to decongest the central business district area and provide the public with alternative parking areas,” he said (http://northboundasia.com/2018/05/18/baguio-seeks-prrd-mediation-in-buying-idle-gsis-property/).
He said he already sent a letter to the GSIS informing it of the city government’s interest in buying the property, but GSIS’ asking price is too high.
Domogan said the city council has a resolution asking Duterte to help the city government convince the GSIS to let it use the Marcoville lot.
According to Domogan, the GSIS asked for P433 million in November. When the city government asked to bring down the price to P350 million, GSIS countered with an even higher P682 million.
“I declined, they should allow us to purchase (based on their) offer in their letter in November 2017,” he said, adding the property had been idle for more than 20 years.
While it remains the country’s summer capital, Baguio City is hounded by worsening traffic congestion and parking problems, with roadsides being used for parking.
In 2004, the city government also acquired a prime property owned by the GSIS, using the share of the local government from the lease rentals of the John Hay Special Economic Zone as its down payment.
The local government was able to fully own the Baguio Convention Center after it settled its unpaid obligations, penalties, and surcharges in 2012.