Baguio's Igorot Stone Kingdom Ordered Closed Over Permit and Safety Concerns
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong has ordered the closure of the Igorot Stone Kingdom, one of the newest tourist destinations in the City of Pines, over permit and safety issues, its public information office said.
The man-made attraction located along Long-long Road in Pinsao Proper has been operating without a business permit, said Magalong, who issued the closure order on November 8. Its stone structures are also not covered by a building permit which makes their structural integrity questionable, he added.
Why Baguio Is Good for Your Mental Health + What's New in the City of Pines
10 Scenic Places in Baguio for the Best Sunrise and Sunset Views
It's Back: Baguio's Free Tourist Buses Are on the Road Again
The park's owner was earlier notified of the permit violations but instead of complying with the requirements, it proceeded to build more structures against the advice of the city government and continued to defy cease and desist orders, the PIO said.
This prompted the Baguio City Buildings and Architecture Office to file a criminal case for violation of the National Building Code on November 7.
Magalong said the Igorot Stone Kingdom had to be closed to ensure the safety of its visitors.
The Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment for Baguio City being conducted by the Asian Development Bank and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office found that the structure is in a “very high landslide exposure.”
The Mines and GeoSciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources also said the area as “prone to erosion, according to Magalong.
“We have to be proactive. We can’t wait [for] something bad to happen before we act," he added.
Pio Velasco, the park's owner, said they respect the decision of the city government to close the Igorot Stone Kingdom, adding that it will reopen as soon as they have complied with all the requirements.
Opened in 2021, the Igorot Stone Kingdom tells the history of the Cordillera people and showcases ancient and contemporary Igorot culture and stonework.