Baguio’s build, build, build – the imbalance

The mayor showed the media some of its infrastructure projects the other day and they were impressive. More so that the ‘show’ was on a wide screen with all the color and lighting effects any architect or artist would put in for a more beautiful rendering of his pieces.
While the projects were beautiful especially those on the parks, these will just highlight or widen the gap between the city’s physical development and those of its neighbors, the other members of the BLISTT (Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay). If what were shown will be accomplished, moving from Baguio to its surrounding towns would be like stepping from light to darkness.
What many people in the city have long been waiting for is the projected development of the city market. It is the center of the city, its showcase to tourists. It is an abomination or an embarassment now, from any angle.
Considering that Baguio being a city has more clout in accessing funds from everywhere, the development gap with its neighbors will continue to widen. Everything then will continue to be centralized in the city—from entertainment, economic and employment opportunities, education and healthcare to even just sitting down on a street corner to kill time. There would be more in the city to see and appreciate, or to enhance one’s brain, or for some economic gain.
Unless there is some conscious effort on the part of the national government to equalize things between Baguio and its neighbors, which will always be an imagination, the members of the BLISTT will continue to act for their respective vested interests with only a minimal care for the others. But if the national government were any brainier, this country would not be the basket case of Asia.
The inevitable result would be more congestion in the city, more forest cover would be lost, and resources like fresh air and water would become more and more difficult to find.
Slowly though the development will expand to the outlying areas but not in a planned way. It will be in a hodgepodge manner, driven by individual self-interest. After many decades the BLISTT will look like a sprawling urban area that developed without orderliness or proper arrangement or even just common sense.
And people would be sorry for how things turned out, but collectively people have always been known for shooting themselves on the foot or in the mouth.**

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