Issue of July 5, 2020
     
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Maharlika tenants want building admin to comply with rental holiday

The city council will take up in its session tomorrow, July 6, the concerns of the Maharlika Livelihood Complex Unified Tenants Association, Inc. regarding compliance with Ordinance 54, s. 2020 or the Rental Holiday Ordinance to Heal as One in Baguio.”

In a letter, officers of the association have requested the council’s assistance to pass a resolution encouraging the Maharlika Livelihood Complex management to abide by the ordinance.

Project Manager Danilo Padua representing the Maharlika management; Adelaida Cagalingan and Geronimo Vergonia, president and vice president of the tenants’ association, respectively, were invited to attend the virtual meeting with the city council.

The council will also discuss the cutting of trees by Vista Residences, Inc. at its project site at Outlook Drive. The developer’s project engineer, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Executive Director Ralph Pablo, City Environment Parks and Management Office Asst. Department Head Renan Diwas, and Outlook Punong Barangay Miguel Arnaiz were invited as resource persons in the meeting.

Relative to the upcoming discussion, the council passed Resolution 383, s. 2020, which requests the Office of the President for the issuance of an executive order declaring a one-year moratorium on tree cutting in Baguio.

“The youth and the people of Baguio denounce this type of blatant disregard for value of trees, the people and the future. The City of Baguio will remain as steward for the protection and preservation of the remaining forest covers as its people do not want their children and the future generation not to be able to breathe clean and fresh air and deprive them of the future they deserve,” the resolution states.

The resolution highlighted alternative approaches that can be implemented without putting too much strain on the environment such as observance of “sustainable development” or “the state of development that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs;” disallow “strong anthropocentrism” in order to prevail in the treatment of the environment; to revoke the view that people stand over and above the environment which sees nature as solely for human use and willful disregard; To revoke the view that the needs and wants for commercial gains shall be considered as paramount and that nature exists only as materials of no value; and to put an end to the unabated and unconscionable cutting of the pine trees in the City of Baguio.

The resolution cited a commissioned study by the National Economic Development Authority about the city’s carrying capacity which showed that the current tree population is insufficient for over 350,000 residents and a daytime population that climbs to 700,000 with the influx of out-of-town workers, students, businessmen, and tourists. Worse, the city’s built-up areas had encroached into forest covers. Only 2.5 million trees remain standing which represent 28 percent or 1,643 hectares of the city’s 5,700-hectare area.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government in October last year submitted to the Office of the President a draft executive order directing a moratorium on the construction of new commercial buildings and cutting of trees to allow the city’s environment to recover. Up to now, no formal issuance was issued by the President.

“The City of Baguio welcomes economic development but not to the extent of depriving the people and the generations to come with clean and fresh air,” the resolution added.

Issues on the redevelopment of the City Public Market will be taken up with City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias, representatives of the Public Order and Safety Division, City Market Office, and the City Permits and Licensing Division.

In Resolution 382, s. 2020, private universities, colleges, schools and similar learning institutions in Baguio were requested to defer implementation of school fee increases for school year 2020-2021.

Prior to the escalation of the Covid-19 pandemic, some private schools, colleges and universities were permitted to increase school fees. However, the resolution stated that any increase at this time is not practical, inhumane, and illogical, especially since the livelihood of ordinary citizens like the sources of income of parents of students are severely affected.

The council said any adjustment in school fees might even increase the number of dropouts within the locality which is highly detrimental to the city’s youth empowerment and human resource development program.

In Resolution 384, s. 2020, the council has urged the regional offices of the Department of Education and the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the City Social Welfare and Development Office to include the elderly in the orientation or training on the new learning modes and on home-based teaching strategies since grandparents are usually entrusted in taking care of their grandchildren.

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