Summer keeps businesses afloat at Burnham Park

SIXTY-two-year-old Eduardo Florendo, a concessionaire at Burnham Park Lake, opens for business as early as 5 a.m., in a bid to catch early park-goers into renting his boat.

Summer for him, is the peak season for the boat concessionaires when tourist come to Baguio to enjoy cooler weather while the rest of the country experiences high temperature.

On a daily basis, Florendo said he earns just enough to feed his family. Although most of his 10 orange boats are being rented, his income is just enough for him to pay the monthly rent of P8,900 to the City Government.

A 30-minute boat ride would cost P100 with a capacity of at six to eight riders.

Another boat concessionaire, Biag Madriaga, said business at this time is not peaking compared to the past years when they can earn as high as P1,000 daily during summer.

He said since the city started increasing monthly rental, they had a hard time earning considering that not all visitors go for boating at the park.

Meanwhile, bike concessionaire Ronald Guimas has innovated his traditional bikes into go carts and dune buggies making his business survive with P3,000 to P4,000 daily earning.

Rental for the bikes and go cart costs P40 an hour while side carts costs P50.

In 2013, the City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo) started to implement a staggered raise in the rental of business concessionaires at Burnham Park.

Cepmo noted rental rates at the park were never amended since 1999. A staggered increase of lease rentals was implemented as a result of the negotiation with the concessionaires.

Boat concessionaires were paying only P4,000 monthly rentals since 1999 which was doubled to P8,000 in 2013. In the old rate, tricycles were only paying P500 a month but this was increased to P2,000. For bicycles, the old rate was only P1,000 a month but this was increased to P2,500 recently.

Based on Cepmo’s data, there are 27 concessionaires at the orchidarium, 27 soda stalls, 14 food stalls, six boating concessionaires, 11 tricycle concessionaires, 28 bicycle concessionaires, and, three refreshment establishments.

Cepmo department head Cordelia Lacsamana said the City Government is only earning about P8 million annually with the old rental rate; thus, increase was necessary to subsidize the operation and maintenance of the premier park as it needs at least P40 million yearly aside from those spent for capital outlay or infrastructure development. (With reports from Cherene Joy Custodio, Colegio de Dagupan Intern)