February 9, 2023

The city council has approved Ordinance 58, s. 2022, authorizing the release of P1 million assistance to Abra that was badly stricken by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

The Quick Response Fund under the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund of the city’s 2022 Annual Budget will be distributed to the different municipalities declared under state of calamity through sangguniang panlalawigan of Abra Resolution 180, s. 2022.

The city council through Resolution 323, s. 2022 expressed strong support to the passage into a law of Senate Bill 60 that aims to provide an increase and automatic adjustment mechanism in the Personnel Economic Relief Allowance granted to government employees.

Introduced by Sen. Francis Joseph G. Escudero in the 15th Congress, SB 3125 proposes the PERA be subjected to an automatic yearly adjustment equivalent to any increase of the annual inflation rate in the country was refiled by the same author and now docketed as SB 60 in the 19th Congress.

“Additional amount in the PERA will definitely supplement the income of lowly-paid government employees, ease their expenses, and cope with the high cost of basic and essential commodities brought about by the present economic condition of the country.”

In Resolution 324, s. 2022, the body tasked the committee on laws, human rights and justice, together with any interested city council member, as a working group to invite the public, the academe, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Baguio-Benguet, government agencies, and barangay officials to submit their reactions, comments, and recommendations and to submit their respective reports elaborating on the ambiguous provisions of Republic Act 11689 entitled, “An Act Revising the Charter of the City of Baguio”.

Concerned that House Bill 8882/SB 2163 lapsed into law as RA 11689 without a plebiscite to allow the constituents of the city to openly discuss the effects on their lives and properties, the resolution wants an urgent need to constitute a working group that will meet once a month at a public place to receive documents, reactions, and recommendations then make a report to the city council and later to Rep. Marquez Go for appropriate action.

The resolution pointed out the revised charter ambiguously makes Baguio a component city of Benguet by requiring the secretary to the sanggunian to submit all ordinances and resolutions to the sangguniang panlalawigan of Benguet for review instead of its original state as an independent and highly urbanized city whose legislative actions are not subject of review by any province or the province of Benguet.

Further, the body through Resolution 315, s. 2022 has tasked its committee on public utilities, transportation and traffic legislation to facilitate/mediate for a settlement within 30 days between the groups of Engr. Melchor S. Licoben and Atty. Ana Maria Paz B. Rafael, the board of directors, the management, the supervisors’ association, and the labor union of the Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc. to resolve Beneco’s pending obligations to its power suppliers and other creditors for the benefit of the citizenry of the Baguio and Benguet.

In the resolution, the council said the freezing of Beneco’s accounts by different depository banks makes its operations at risk as it cannot pay its obligations to its power suppliers and other creditors and left unresolved would be detrimental to the cooperative’s operations and its member-consumers.

Prior to the resolution is the commitment by both camps of Licoben and Rafael before the city council to sit together for the threshing out of all the matters and concerns with regards to the payment to power suppliers, creditors, and other obligations of the cooperative.

For transparency, the city council also requested the offices of Licoben and Rafael to submit within 10 days an audited financial report of Beneco’s expenditures for the previous months to present and quarterly thereafter.

Amidst the cooperative’s leadership dispute inside the cooperative, the city council expresses concern on the daily expenditures incurred by both groups using the funds of its member-consumer-owners and called for the immediate resolution of the dispute.