The local government of Puerto Princesa City celebrated the Balayong Tree Planting and Nurturing 2021 on July 31, which was officiated by City Mayor Lucilo Rodriguez Bayron at the covered tennis court of the Balayong People’s Park in Sta. Monica.
On the same day, they excitedly announce the local government’s plan in opening the biggest park in the Puerto Princesa City and all the attractions to be found within the 62.45 hectares of land.
According to the Officer of the Development of Plan and Infrastructure Project Architect IV Ezra Miguel from the Office of the City Architect, the idea behind the Balayong Peoples’ Park is that the existing parks can only accommodate a limited number of people and, if combined, will not reach 50% of the allotted space of the Balayong Park. The LGU is also aiming for this park to be another tourist destination when tourism reopens in Puerto Princesa City.
“Itong project po na ito is a new tourist destination that [we] would call…a project that is a fusion of nature and debt environment,” says Architect Miguel.
“Nag-start po ito dahil marami po tayong mga parks sa old town po natin. Andiyan ‘yung…children’s park Plaza Cuartel, Mendoza Park and other parks na sobrang limited [lang] ‘yung kaya niyang i-accommodate kasi very na ka-limited space ‘yung ating poblacion… Kung iko-combine po natin yung area nung mga park po sa bayan, hindi po siya aabot sa 50% ng Balayong Park. Approximately the development was total of 62.45 hectares. 30% infrastructure development and almost 70% of open space.”
Architect Miguel also shared that 535 Balayong Trees are currently planted in the Balayong People’s Park from other barangays, which were earth balled using a spade truck purchased by the local government.
“And aside from the project nung tree planting, continuous po ‘yung pag-transplant o pag-earth ball nung mga puno galing sa ibang barangays lalo na ‘yung sa mga Bacungan area [at] Napsan dahil marami po tayo diyan na mga Balayong trees na clustered sila [o] naka-ipon sila so para mas ma-appreciate po natin ‘yun [kaya] dinala po sila dito sa ating Balayong Peoples’ Park. And almost 400 ‘yung mga puno na na galing din po sa ating environmental estates which is sa Sta. Lucia. Ito po ay almost 2 to 3 years old na; almost 535 na po ‘yung mga puno ngayon na nakatanim na mga medium size.”
“Yun nga po nagpapasalamat kami kay Mayor dahil nag-purchase talaga siya ng spade truck dahil ito po ay long term po na project. So if incase na may puno diyan [ay] hindi po siya puputulin, ililipat lang po siya,” she added.
Architect Miguel shared that the total cost of the whole park is estimated to be P1.2 billion. And that one of the main obstacles is the budget as 40% of the proposed project is stull unfunded.
“So almost 40% po, let’s say 40% po ng mga proposed projects ‘yun po yung hindi pa napondohan for next year kasi sobrang laki po ng project na ito. It’s almost P1.2 Billion, it is estimated [at] kung matatapos po siya lahat.”
“Yung mga mini parks po ngayon lang po na-ground breaking so ongoing po siya. Initially kung wala pong pandemic 2022 po sana siya matatapos but then meron pong mga unexpected pong mga nangyari so hindi natin sure kung by 2022 matatapos na po lahat pero hopefully [at] kung mapopondohan sana eh ang problema naman po [ay] ‘yung fund natin.”
Architect Miguel said that the Forest Park was one of the first to be completed as it was funded by the national government while the waterpark was locally funded.
“Yung mga una pong natapos, for example po ‘yung forest park, dahil ito po ay naka incline sa ‘Green Green Green Program’ ng ating national government so nagbigay po sila ng LGSF [Local Government Support Fund] fund na almost P86 million to develop a park… ‘Yun po ‘yung unang project na natapos dahil ito po ay napondohan ng DBM [Deparment of Budget and Management].
“’Yung funded po ng DBM is ‘yung parks po which is 16 million and then yung forest park…almost P86 point something million. And then ‘yung locally funded naman po ‘yung waterpark which is cost of P80 million…sa mechanical system pa lang po almost P40 million na po siya so talagang medyo mataas po ‘yung cost niya. The Rotonda Park po is funded, local fund po, siya for this year.“
Development of Plan and Infrastructure Project Officer estimates that the said park is 50% complete and people should expect other parts of the park to be finished as well by next year.
“’Yung iba naman po is funded po siya for next year…’yung skatepark, food establishments, ‘yung mga restaurants and food complex as well as the zipline tower. So ‘yung green parking building kasama rin po ‘yun for next year. So iilan na lang po diyan…’yung childrens’ park and senior citizens’ park included din po next year.”
Below is the list of the sites planned for the Balayong Peoples’ Park:
- Friendship Park
- Wall Climbing
- 2 Green Parking Building
- Cascading Park
- Zip Line Take-off Platform and Zip Line Arrival Platform
- Picnic Ground
- Food Complex
- Ecumenical Wedding Shrine
- Balayong Fountain Park
- Blossom Park
- Outdoor Amphitheater
- Interactive Water Park
- Meditation Garden
- Chess Center
- Skate Park
- Bike Park and Station
- Location for Local Restaurants
- Elevated Boardwalk
- Watch Tower
- View Decks
- Forest Park
- Water Pod
- Children’s Park and Senior Citizen’s Park
- Watch Tower and Viewing Area