BAGUIO – Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong ordered the closure of the Igorot Stone Kingdom on Nov. 8, 2022, due to permit and safety issues.
Magalong said the man-made tourist attraction located along Long-long Road, Pinsao Proper is operating without a business permit, and the stone structures used to build the edifice are not covered by a building permit, making their structural integrity questionable.
The owner had been previously notified of the permit violations and advised to comply but had neglected to do so.
Along with this, more structures were built inside the property while defying cease and desist orders, which prompted the City Buildings and Architecture Office to file a criminal case on Nov. 7, 2022 for violation of the National Building Code.
According to Magalong, ordering the attraction’s closure is a necessary safety precaution as its lack of certification makes it potentially dangerous.
“We have to be proactive. We can’t wait (for) something bad to happen before we act,” the mayor said.
The Baguio City Public Information Office also noted that several other sectors have assessed the area’s safety, and have found it to be critical.
The Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA) for Baguio City being conducted by the Asian Development Bank and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), found that the structure is in a “very high landslide exposure.”
Adding to that, the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (MGB-DENR) has also declared the area as “prone to erosion.”
As of Nov. 9, 2022, the city government, led by the City Permits and Licensing Division has served the closure order of the management of the Igorot Stone Kingdom.
The 6,000 square meter park officially opened to the public in 2021. It used the concept of the Igorots’ rock-laying skills, and aims to showcase the Cordillerans’ culture and traditon. According to its owner, the Igorot Stone Kingdom is also a tribute to his mother, an Igorot herself.