June 21, 2024

The city council on Monday approved Ordinance 116, s. 2019 or the “Baguio City College Education Financial Assistance Ordinance.”
Intended beneficiaries are students from poor and underprivileged families in Baguio who excel academically in schools/universities located in the city. Each grantee will receive P6,000 educational assistance every semester.
As phrased by the proponent Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan, the program aims to encourage and help students finish their education for a brighter future and better life and to be exemplary future leaders and role models in the community.
An amount of P10 million for the purpose was allocated in the city’s 2020 annual budget and every year thereafter subject to an increase of P5 million upon the discretion of the city mayor to cover the increasing number of grantees/beneficiaries to be sourced out from the annual percentage share of the city from the Philippine Export Zone Authority for the operation of its Baguio City Export Processing Zone.
The ordinance, which shall take effect in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991 was submitted to the city mayor for his signature.
The body, through Resolution 490, s. 2019, has expressed its support to the intensified information campaign of the Regional Consular Office-Baguio City of the Department of Foreign Affairs regarding requirements, procedures, and advantages of online passport appointment system through press releases and social media accounts.
The action is an acknowledgment to the efforts and active response of the DFA and its Baguio Office to Resolution 420, s. 2017, which earlier called for proper action regarding reports of “individuals/agencies selling passport appointment slots” to the public.
Administrative Officer V and Acting Officer-in-Charge of Consular Office-Baguio Mayette Iniguid in her letter on Sept. 23 to Olowan conveyed that DFA and Consular Office Baguio have been implementing an intensified campaign regarding their online passport appointment system for the public to be informed of the requirements and proper procedures, as well as the advantages of their program.
They will also continue to issue reminders to the public to cease patronizing individuals and/or agencies offering passport assistance services and charging substantial amount.
As a result of their information campaign, the number of complaints regarding individuals and agencies selling passport appointment slots was reduced.
Iniguid said that when their office received Resolution 420 in 2017, the officer-in-charge then, Eleanor Belgica, has requested the National Bureau of Investigation-Cordillera on Dec. 14, 2017 to conduct an investigation which resulted in the discovery by the NBI of the email addresses of different agencies being used in setting appointment slots to clients. Their coordination with the law enforcement agencies has causedthe dismantling of Facebook pages of those offering appointment slots and passport assistance.
One reason they suppose why the public have engaged the services of agencies/individuals during that time is the non-availability of passport appointment slots and the waiting period of two to four months for slots to be available.
Iniguid added that DFA has promised in its June 2018 press release to open additional slots everyday at noon and at 9 p.m., and has already introduced the e-payment system for online appointments which somewhat led to the decrease in the reports received of selling slots.
The body honored in separate resolutions two centenarian residents of Baguio City in recognition of their longevity and shared experiences that inspire and strengthened good Filipino family values.
In Resolution 486, s. 2019, Maria Erodita Brigida Alcantara-Seguancia who was born and raised in Naguilian, La Union was said to have recently celebrated her 100th birthday.
At young age and an elementary graduate, she learned to earn a living for selling vegetables.
Seguancia with her late husband, Cresencio Mendoza Seguancia, a native of Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, whom she wed in 1946, came up to Baguio in 1949 to look for better opportunity, and it was here where they able to establish their permanent residency.
Their enduring happy marriage and full of contentment was blessed with four children who are well in their seniors now. She expressed that in spite of the distance between their residences, they maintain constant communication. She is presently living with her two unmarried children whom she gladly expressed tons of gratitude for their long and enduring patience and support.
At 100, Seguancia is gradually losing her vision, but can still manage to do her personal routines. Though her mobility is restricted, her sense of hearing and sanity are very notable. She was observed to be a person of wisdom, humility and uprightness.
In Resolution 487, s. 2019, the other centenarian honoree is 102 years old Cotlongao Gali Tongatong who was born on March 2, 1918 and raised in Data, Sabangan, Mountain Province.
He married his townmate Lingdan Pagadiyan in 1950 and their harmonious relationship blessed them with five children.
Tongatong used to be a farmer in Data, Sabangan and in Lubon, Tadian, both in Mountain Province, but the family migrated to Baguio City in 1973 when their eldest daughter got married at Camp 7, and there he worked as a gardener on a lot owned by his son-in-law.
He is now bedridden due to kidney-related problems. He stays at home with his wife who lives simply and spending her days gardening whenever she can.
Both Seguancia and Tongatong as latest centenarian honorees shall be awarded with privileges in accordance with Ordinance 45, s. 2016, as amended and additional benefits from the national government.