Issue of April 21, 2013
Mt. Province

Baguio Day Anniversary Issue
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Council shortens session to avoid politicking

The city council in its 13th regular session last Monday presided by Vice mayor Daniel Fariñas acted on 50 legislative matters.

Like in the last meeting, the council held an hour to tackle many items in the agenda. Fariñas said the council’s “shortened meeting” is a slight adjustment from its usual three-hour meetings that sometimes extend until 6 p.m. The decision was agreed upon by all the council members to act on urgent matters and not to waste time discussing things that are not yet ready for action. The short yet productive period is a means to avoid politicking, grandstanding, and entertaining unreasonable requests.

The council is doing actions at the committee level, particularly on matters requiring proper studies in accordance with the rules. The council members also work the whole week in the different committees taking care of the various concerns and undertake other tasks with the sangguniang panlungsod staff members.

On behalf of their colleagues, two senior members claimed all the councilors are doing their job seven days a week and work beyond office hours.

The council enacted three ordinances which deal with improvement of a city property, retirement benefit of city employees, and a public works project.

Approved in Ordinance 18, s. of 2013 is the conversion of the city treasurer’s cottage to a multipurpose building. The treasure’s cottage, which stands on a 755-square meter public land at DPS Compound, is intended for the use of national officials rendering service to the city. The General Services Office recently found out the cottage is being occupied by two families since 2001 for free.

The old cottage is no longer serving its function so it is high time to improve it for public use in line with the desire of the city in Resolution 20, s. 2008 for its identification as a city needs and titling as a city lot with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The ordinance, authored by Councilor Lourdes Tabanda, authorized the use of the P7 million, which was allocated in the development funds of the 2008 city annual budget to facilitate the purpose.

The multipurpose building has component of “guests or lodging house,” the guidelines for its use and operation will be formulated by a committee to be created by the mayor.

Ordinance 20, s. 2013, which jointly moved by all council members, increased the cash incentive of retiring officials or employees of the city government in recognition of their unselfish contribution and dedicated service.

The amendatory measure authored by councilors Philian Weygan-Allan and Edison Bilog has increased to P1,500 from the P1,000 the retirement benefit every year of service, which was originally provided under Ordinance 8, s. 2007.

In Ordinance 19, s. 2013, the project title “Rehabilitation of dilapidated road, Rimando Road at North Central Aurora Hill” was changed to “Rehabilitation of dilapidated road, Rimando Road at South Central Aurora Hill.”

The road improvement project, with a budget of P150,000, was identified by the barangay officials and representatives of the city council for South Central Aurora Hill but in the list of approved calamity projects for 2012 the location inadvertently mentioned North Central Aurora Hill.

Thus, the ordinance is ordering correction of the error on the location of the project as recommended by the committee on public works that made the investigation.

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