July 21, 2024

The city council met on a shortened period last Monday for matters needing urgent legislative actions despite its earlier arrangement to take a break following the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
The body has authorized in separate ordinances the release of financial assistance for Batanes, which was struck by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake on July 27 and areas in Mindanao that were rocked by series of earthquakes of 4.9 to 6.6 magnitudes from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.
In Ordinance 100, s. 2019, an amount of P1.5 million from the 30 percent City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) quick response fund was appropriated as financial assistance for the victims in different earthquake-stricken municipalities in Mindanao.
Ordinance 101, s. 2019, meanwhile, authorizes the release of P500,000 from the 70 percent CDRRMC calamity fund for 2019 as financial assistance to victims of earthquake in the affected municipalities of Batanes.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong was given the option in both ordinances to determine the amount to be given in the form of checks to specific areas of Batanes and Mindanao that were declared under the state of calamity as results of the earthquakes.
City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña who represented the mayor for clarification during the approval of the disbursement measures said that the financial assistance is gesture of giving back the help Baguio City received from other local government units when the city was devastated during the 1990 earthquake.
In its previous session, the body requested through Resolution 371, s. 2019 President Rodrigo Duterte, through Rep. Marquez Go, for the issuance of a proclamation which shall disestablish or remove certain affected barangays in Baguio from the coverage of Proclamation Nos. 414 and 572.
These are Barangays Gibraltar, Mines View, Pucsusan, Lucnab, Happy Hallow, Loakan Apugan, Atok Trail, and Kias, which were originally under the Baguio Townsite Reservation as per Philippine Commission resolutions dated Jan. 25, 1907 and Aug. 30, 1916, but because of the recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and pursuant to Section 14 of Commonwealth Act 137 or the “Mining Act,” then president Carlos Garcia has issued Proclamation. 414, s. 1957, which excluded the barangays from said Townsite Reservation and opened them to disposition as mineral lands.
Years following Garcia’s proclamations, various government agencies, civic groups, officials, and residents of the barangays have been calling for the reclassification of the areas to alienable and disposable lands and be disestablished from the coverage of proclamations 414 and 572 as mineral lands.
There was also a city resolution in 1995, which requested for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to grant a special patent in the name of the City Government of Baguio over areas covered by said proclamations for socialized housing purposes and for other public needs.
The resolution stated that the barangays are now developed into communities with residential houses, institutional areas, as well as an ancestral domain in the case of Happy Hallow.
It also stressed the fact that for more than 50 years since the proclamations, no mining operations had been realized in the areas and that mining activities would pose serious threat to the safety of the residents and the environment as the areas are home to matured pine trees.
In Resolution 388, s. 2019, Magalong was requested to create a task force which shall monitor and supervise entrepreneurs engaged in the manufacture and sale of pasalubong products to ensure that the quality of the products is improved and sold at reasonable rates.
The creation of a task force was recommended by Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera Director Myrna Pablo since pasalubong products are not regularly monitored by the DTI with regard to prices, as said products are not considered as basic necessities or prime commodities under RA 7581 or the “Price Act of the Philippines, as amended.” Another reason DTI cannot undertake regular monitoring on pasalubong products are the agency’s other regulatory functions and limited personnel.
Pablo however ensures that DTI provides training and other assistance to entrepreneurs engaged in the manufacture and sale of pasalubong products that are aimed at improving quality and ensuring that they are sold at reasonable rates.
She added that DTI Benguet Provincial Office is also willing to collaborate with the city government in conducting any activity they deem appropriate to address the sale and manufacture of pasalubong products.
The resolution includes as members of the task force or monitoring committee to be formed are the regional offices of DTI, the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drugs Administration, and other responsible government offices.
In Resolution 385, s. 2019, the City Human Resource Management Office was urged to look into the possibility of accrediting online training service providers for the career/service development training needs of officials and employees of the city government.
Online training service can offer or enhance variety of needed trainings to employees, and would allow those who only have limited time and training funds opportunities to go into career and skills enhancement programs, which are essential to personal development, professional growth, and improved public service.
The resolution is also convinced that employees have all access to service and training providers through the use of cyberspace in availing offered services, such as capacity building and enhancement training for a wide range of skills and services.
It also stressed that exploring and taking advantage of said online training or technological innovation would be advantageous to the continuing development of the city government personnel on their chosen fields and also expose them to new information technologies and tools that are beneficial to the performance of their duties and responsibilities.
“The city government stands to benefit from these on-line training services as the employees would shoulder the on-line training charges as such training can be done after office hours, outside office premises, or in the convenience of their respective homes,” added the resolution.