June 20, 2024

Guided by the recommendation of the city’s Local Finance Committee, the city council on Monday has approved Ordinance, s. 2020 or the “Tax Relief Ordinance for all business establishments operating in Baguio affected during the coronavirus disease-2019 quarantine period.”
The measure specifically grants business establishments, whether or not they were closed during the quarantine period, sufficient grace period to pay their business and real property taxes.
The ordinance provides that “taxes falling due within the enhanced community quarantine shall be paid on or before June 30, 2020 without penalty” and “taxes due for the third and fourth quarters shall be paid on or before the last working day of December 2020 without any extension.”
Unpaid taxes that fell due before the ECQ are considered/classified as delinquent and shall be imposed penalties under the existing city tax ordinance, except for the period covered by the ECQ.
Also approved is Ordinance 53, s. 2020, which prescribes “new normal” of operations and health and hygiene practices in Baguio until the threat of Covid-19 is over.
The ordinance mandates strict implementation and observance of new normal of operation as strategies in preventing the spread of Covid-19 in all business establishments, transportation facilities, work places/offices, schools and public places in Baguio.
These are cough etiquette or the use of tissue when coughing and sneezing and its proper disposal, and use of a face mask; not speaking in public transport; daily cleaning and disinfection with 0.01 bleach and routine cleaning of frequently touched hard surfaces with detergent/disinfectant solution/wipe of the business/school/office premises; opening of windows for good ventilation; frequent hand washing for establishments with existing comfort rooms or washing facilities; stepping on the sanitation mats before entering the premises of the establishments; employees and visitors/clients/customers to undergo temperature reader before entering the premises of the above enumerated facilities/establishments/areas; and placing of plastic or other transparent covering for counters.
It added all public and private establishments operating in the city under site-owned or tenancy arrangements, as part of the establishment owner’s or employer’s responsibility, are required to provide and maintain a safe working environment and hygienic facility for everyone to observe day-to-day with each other and among customers, clients, visitors and guests; enforce without exception and for everyone’s compliance proper health and hygiene regulations like frequent washing of hands, wearing of face mask, and physical distancing in all areas of work activity and in regulated work gatherings of not more than 10 persons at a time; develop and apply innovative policies and strengthening standards for health-influenced work operating procedures; provide hygiene conveniences, sanitary comfort rooms, and safe washing facilities for everyone’s use; ensure compliance by workers to strictly observe health, safety and hygiene protocols in their day-to-day work activities; train workers and staff, as well as customers, visitors, and guests and staff, on proper health, safety, and hygiene protocols; information by posting visible signage of the prescribed health and hygiene practices in the workplaces; and monitor regular compliance with health, safety, and hygienic practices prevailing in places of work.
Violators will face sanctions and payment of fines.
Meanwhile, the body through Resolution 292, s. 2020 has expressed the city government’s support to the Benguet Electric Cooperative’s new leadership under general manager, Engr. Melchor Licoben.
Licoben has replaced Gerardo Verzosa who retired on May 1 after 30 years of service to the cooperative.
In Resolution 283, the Government Service Insurance System and the Social Security System were urged to grant financial assistance equivalent to one-month pension to all their pensioners.
The resolution pities the condition of the retirees who, during this extraordinary period, are left only with the option to stretch their meager monthly pension, with some as small as P3,000, to provide for their needs, which the social systems have to consider and understand .
Through Resolution 291, s. 2020, the council also asked the national offices of the Department of Education, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the Commission on Higher Education to fast-track the integration of mental health education in the curriculum for all learners and to earnestly monitor its implementation to ensure the realization of its purpose.
The resolution cited as basis Republic Act 11036 or the Mental Health Act, which gives the DepEd, Tesda, and CHED within two years from the release of its implementing rules and regulations last 2019 to establish and integrate mental health into the educational system and shall be accessible to all education institutions at all levels from pre-school to post-graduate school, including Alternative Learning System and schools for populations with special needs.
The other approved resolutions are requests for the Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera and other agencies to strictly monitor unjust or unnecessary price increase of basic commodities during the Covid-19 pandemic and to request said agencies to deploy monitoring teams to check compliance to the price freeze and suggested retail price policy of supermarkets and sari-sari stores; and for the 128 barangays in the city to disburse the one percent of their total annual budget allocation for the programs, projects, and activities that will benefit senior citizens and persons with disability specifically for the procurement and distribution of care kits or anti-Covid-19 kits in their respective barangays.