The Watershed and Water Resources Research Center (WWRRC) of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) presented a poster during the R&D Congress on Sustainable Urbanization in the Course of ASEAN Economic Integration held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Metro Manila, Philippines on June 26-30, 2017. The poster is entitled “Urban Development in Baguio City, Philippines”. The poster was highlighted with a discussion on the socio-economic and physical transformation of Baguio City, the research method used, result of the analysis done on the information gathered and recommendations made to further improve urbanization in Baguio City.

The poster is a result of review of documents, secondary data and observations made on urban development in Baguio City. It recognizes that urban development is associated with socio-economic and physical transformation. Analysis of data was limited to population, economy, urban parks, and residential and commercial establishment from 2010 to 2015. Results revealed that the total population in Baguio City consisting of 133 barangays as of 2010 is 318,676 with 78,313 households. However, in 2015, the population tremendously increased to 345,366. The number of building permits issued for residential from 2011 to 2015 range from 307 to 372 while the commercial is recorded from 100 to 165 units which include apartment, dormitory, hotel, condominium, and commercial establishment. In 2010, there are 23 institutional infrastructures such as church, school, hospital and government office which increased to 69 in 2015. The city government allotted 70.6756 hectares for urban parks. LGU-managed parks in the vicinity include Burnham Park, Mine View Park, Wright Park, Baguio Botanical Garden, and the Dominican Heritage Hill and Nature Park. Burnham Park is Baguio City’s famous park known as the “Mother of all Parks”. Baguio’s economy primarily depends on the services sector. There are 20,400 legitimate businesses operating in various parts of the City classified into 17 business activities. Majority of the economic activities representing 93.64 percent of the total area include the five most dominant such as retailers (39.73%), service (26.19%), real state lessor/boardinghouse, apartment/transient operators (19.73%), restaurants, café, cafeteria, ice cream and other refreshment parlors (5.44%) and wholesale (2.55%). The study recommended that the Health Center of the City should invest in intensive education and communication campaign on family planning to avoid the rapid increase in the population in Baguio City and to escape poverty trap among poor urban dwellers. To further boost the city’s economy and provide employment, the city government should invite foreign investors to establish business since there is influx of tourists in Baguio City and peace and order will not pose a threat. Further planting of pollution tolerant species in urban parks is recommended to minimize the amount of toxic gases in the air of a highly urbanized city like Baguio City.

The ASEAN congress provided a forum for the exchange of information on strategies generated through R and D in addressing sustainable urbanization in the course of ASEAN economic integration. Some of the specific objectives include the identification and integration of strategies on dynamic ASEAN economic integration vis-a vis sustainable urbanization; enhancement of partnership and joint research and development endeavors among the ASEAN member-states; and come up with collective future R and D plans addressing sustainable urbanization while working to achieve a robust ASEAN economic community. It was attended by representatives from the ten (10) ASEAN countries (Lao-PDR, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Philippines), Australia, South Korea and China and the event was graced by the Honorable Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Thirty three posters and 40 R&D papers were presented during the congress, not to mention the seven (7) papers/messages delivered during the plenary session. On the last day of the congress, the participants were toured to ecological, cultural and historical places within Metro Manila and vicinities like the Zuellig Building in Makati; Manila Water (Lakbayan) in Quezon City; Malacañang Palace; Intramuros, Fort Santiago, Casa Manila, Palacio del Gobernador, and San Agustin Church. H.A. Maddumba, WWRRC