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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

Igorot Stone Kingdom in Baguio City reopens

Baguio City, Philippines – After over 4-month closure, the Igorot Stone Kingdom finally reopened to the public on Monday, April 03, 2023.

The man-made stone structure along Long-long Road, Pinsao Proper is one of Baguio City’s main attraction since its opening in May 2021. Its signature look showcases the rock-laying skills of Igorots, including their traditions and culture.

Back in November 2022, the city government shut down the popular site over safety concerns and lack of permit to operate.

In the same month, the local government through City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) head Johny Degay filed complaint against the owners of the Igorot Stone Kingdom - Pio and his son Hajji Velasco, alleging that they violated Section 301 of Presidential Decree 1096 or the National Building Code.

On Dec. 5 of the same year, the conduct of the requisite preliminary investigation on the case was suspended by the city prosecutor's office as the Velascos were on the verge of complying requirements to acquire necessary permits.

The city government filed a motion for reconsideration on Dec. 15, leading for the prosecutor’s office to issue a resolution on Jan. 20, remanding the complaint to Prosecuting Attorney Oliver Isabelo Prudencio for it to be resolved based on merits raised by the parties.

On February 17, 2023, the Velascos informed the Office of the Prosecutor that they fully complied with the requirements, addressing the concerns raised.

In a two-page decision dated March 13, 2023, prosecutor’s office dismissed the four counts of criminal charges filed by the CBAO for lack of merit.

“Going over the issues, it appears that the respondents were able to comply with the requirements as prescribed under Presidential Decree 1096 regarding the structures complained of,” stated the resolution.

Further, the prosecution explained that the city government acknowledged the compliance of the owners of the tourist spot on the set requirements when they received the letter and attached documents of the Velascos.

With the charges dropped, the Igorot Stone Kingdom reopened its doors to both locals and tourists, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. of Mondays to Sundays.

The entrance fees remained the same. Those three years old and below can enter for free. For 4 to 12 years old as well as senior citizens and persons with disabilities, P80 entrance fee must be paid, while those 13 years old and above must pay P100.


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