June 20, 2024

The city council on Monday has approved Ordinance 54, s. 2020 or the “Rental Holiday Ordinance to Heal as One in the City of Baguio.”
The measure is intended to provide relief for the business sector that were directly and indirectly affected by the strict implementation of national and local issuances for the observance of the community quarantine, especially the lessors and the lessees left incapable of rendering and performing their respective obligations in their lease contracts.
The ordinance mandates owners, lessors, sub-lessors, operators, administrators, or managers not to collect rentals on real properties, buildings, stalls, units, or spaces used for commercial business or industrial purposes while their establishments are prevented from operating whether under the enhanced or general community quarantine.
It covers all city, national government, government-owned and control corporations, and private-owned real properties and commercial or industrial establishments in the city covered by lease contracts or under a lessor-lessee relationship, where the parties’ obligations under Article 1654 and 1657 of the New Civil Code or terms in the lease contract could not be fulfilled by reason of their closure due to imposition of ECQ.
All establishments that were not ordered to close but chose to close during the ECQ are also covered by the ordinance.
Stalls at the Baguio City public market that continued to operate during the ECQ and GCQ shall settle their unpaid rentals for March, April, and May on June 30 without penalty and surcharges, while those that did not operate shall not pay rentals.
Building owners with lease contracts with the city government that are not covered by the above provisions shall pay their accumulated rentals for March, April, and May in three equal installments starting on June 30 to be added to their rental dues for the month.
Concessionaires at Burnham Park and Botanical Garden are exempt from the payment of rent during the ECQ or while their establishments are prevented from operating. Pay toilet concessionaires are exempt from the payment of rentals for the duration of non-operation.
Establishment owners found violating the ordinance shall face closure, their business permit shall be revoked, and business permit application shall be denied until they comply with the ordinance. Persons or officers responsible in case of a corporation shall be fined P1,000 and face an imprisonment of one year upon conviction.
The council also approved Ordinance 59 s. 2020, which amends Ordinance 54, s. 1988, to broaden its scope and increase the penalties.
The ordinance prohibits any person to spit, or expectorate, discharge mucus, urinate, defecate, vomit, throw, dump, leave or scatter pieces of paper, peelings, cigarettes or tobacco butts, soil, or any kind of refuse or garbage in public places, such as parks, streets, plazas, lagoons, lakes, brooks roads, canals, alleys, fences, walls, markets and inside public buildings, or enclosures except in receptacles or containers provided for the purpose.
Violators will be fined P1,000 for each violation or render a community service of 12 hours. If the violator is a person in authority or agents of a person in authority, the fine shall be P4,000 for each violation.
For those dumping garbage, soil, waste, and other refuse, the fine will be P5,000 for each offense in the case of establishments, offices, transport companies, or other business entities.
In all instances, the violator shall be responsible for cleaning/properly disposing the waste and restoring the cleanliness of the premises.
The penalty for each violation is P3,000. In case the violator is a corporation or any artificial or juridical person, the president, manager, or any executive officer, shall jointly and severally be fined P5,000 for each offense.
Those who voluntarily acknowledge their infraction and are willing to pay the fines shall not be detained, subjected to prosecution, or recorded in the police blotter or in court records.
Meanwhile, the body in Resolution 311, s. 2020 has authorized City Mayor Benjamin Magalong in behalf of the City Government of Baguio to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center for the implementation of the medical assistance city aid program for indigent patients in Baguio for this year.
Among those covered by the medical assistance program are indigent patients undergoing dialysis, chemotherapy, and such other life threatening diseases that need immediate medical procedures and confinement at the BGHMC.
The body also authorized in Resolution 306, s. 2020 the city mayor to sign a MOA with the Department of Trade and Industry for the establishment of the Baguio Arabica Coffee Processing Center as contained in the project proposal of the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office for the shared service facility at no cost to the city.
In Resolution 304, s. 2020, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in coordination with the DTI were asked to conduct short-term training programs on technical-vocational courses for displaced/laid-off employees because of business shutdown due to the community quarantine and for residents to engage in home-based businesses or livelihood activities.
Among the suggested trainings to be conducted through face to face and online and other programs and services-based on clienteles are housekeeping, haircutting, manicure-pedicure, massage and other beauty and health care services, and urban gardening.
In Resolution 305, s. 2020, the Baguio City Police Office and the City Engineering Office were requested to install markers on waiting sheds and jeepney terminals that would guide residents in observing physical distancing.
It says that the markers which have been proven effective should also be installed in all the jeepney terminals where queues are expected due to the GCQ which allows more people to go out.
To be ready and mitigate floods during the rainy season or during typhoons, the council requested through Resolution, 308 s. 2020, the Department of Public Works and Highways-Baguio City District Engineering Office, the City Engineering Office, the barangay officials, and other concerned offices to clear and unclog canals and waterways in the city.
The other requests are for the office of the city mayor to recognize barangays in the city that displayed ingenuity, innovation, and self-reliance in establishing “survival community gardens” or “household container gardens” during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The body also asked the Public Employment Service Office of Baguio City, in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment, to conduct a job matching of vacant positions and qualified applicants for businesses expected to open and/or resume operations after the community quarantine is lifted and give priority to the hiring of Baguio residents.
In Resolution 310, s. 2020, the body expressed its support to the Department of Budget and Management for keeping intact the budget for scholarship and Tertiary Education Subsidy for academic year 2019-2020 under the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act and for DBM to expedite the release of the remaining appropriated budget to the Commission on Higher Education before the start of school year 2020-2021.