Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Asin Hot Springs Resort

Can a part of a municipality that was allowed to be operated and managed by its neighboring city, be declared or made by the city as privatized area.  This means that part of the municipality, the Asin Hot Springs Resort managed and operated by the city, will be offered to private entities for its operation!  That is similar to how the former Camp John Hay (CJH) is now being operated!  CJH is now a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) under the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) that has actually privatized it and being operated by Fil-Estate Realty Corporation!

CJH now is a far cry from what it was during the time it was operated as a rest and recreation base by the U.S. military.  It used to be that locals and visitors alike could walk around freely and go nights-out until wee hours of the morning.  Picnic tables were free to use, people can go visit any place in the base except for the the ambassador's residence that was off-limits.  The present CJH now has so many restricted areas and even cordoned off!  Imagine this happening at the Asin Hot Springs Resort! 

The resort is located in the municipality of Tuba, Benguet, more or less 15 kilometers west of Baguio city.  It is the nearest place where locals can enjoy relatively cheap resort and swimming pool accommodations.  Currently, there are three privately owned resorts:  The original near the power generation facility that has real hot spring water but was not fully developed; the River View Water Park Resort; and the Palm Grove Hot Springs and Mountain Resort.  Baguio City locals flock to these resorts almost every week end specially during summer.

Asin Hot Springs Resorts has also been well patronized by well sized companies in Baguio that they hold some company outings here.  The main advantage of the location for Baguio residents is being able to enjoy the place and go home at the end of the day.  If the entire place is to be privatized, whoever operates the area will 'jack-up' fees that locals will have to think twice before visiting the place again.  Also, there will be restrictions again within a defined area of the locality just like CJH!

Lastly, the Baguio City local government has had problems getting its share from CJH what is due to their coffers.  Are they trying to say that they prefer it that way?  Or, its because they don't have trusted people that operate and manage the Asin Hot Springs Resort.  That might just explain it:  The city losing earnings while some people enjoying the "fruits" of managing the resort!

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