July 15, 2024

The city council on Monday has approved three ordinances supporting the country’s efforts in controlling and preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19).
Ordinance 44, s. 2020 or the “Anti-Coronavirus Disease-2019 Discrimination Ordinance of the City of Baguio” penalizes acts of discrimination committed against persons affected by the disease and medical personnel, other health workers, and workers whose functions are essential in making the City of Baguio free from the Covid-19.
Section 5 of the ordinance declares it unlawful and prohibits any act, utterance, statement, or deed that degrades, demeans, or belittles the status and dignity of persons who were confirmed, suspect, and probableCovid-19 cases
It also prohibits denying or refusing the access of fully recovered Covid-19 patients, health workers, and essential workers to basic goods and services, accommodations, or lodging and inflicting physical harm or threatening to inflict physical harm on Covid-19 confirmed, suspect, and probable persons, health workers, and essential workers.
The ordinance also penalizes announcing, revealing, publishing, or posting on social media any information containing the name, address, health condition or whereabouts of Covid-19 confirmed, suspect, and probable persons, or those suspected to be any of the same, whether or not said information is verified by the Department of Health and without the consent of the affected persons. Only authorized officers can announce such information.
The council also passed Ordinance 45, s. 2020 or “The Face Mask Ordinance in the City of Baguio,” which mandates all persons to wear face masks until the threat of Covid-19 is completely eliminated in the country or during the State of Public Health Emergency.
The ordinance makes it unlawful for any person to leave their homes and go to public places, buildings, national roads or highway, sidewalks, walkways, or public conveyances, or other similar establishments without a face mask.
It also prohibits any entity to transact business with any person not wearing a face mask and hoard, profiteer, or manipulate the prices of face masks.
The body also approved Ordinance 46, s. 2020, which imposes among all persons in any crowd-drawing events/activities, public conveyance by public utility vehicles such as but not limited to public utility jeepneys, taxi, buses, company shuttle, transport network vehicles, business operations, or in any activity that entails queuing or formation of a line during the duration of the Covid-19 to observe physical distancing.
It prohibits passengers or angkas in motorcycles.
The ordinance also requires government and private offices, owners of business establishments, event organizers, and the different operators and driver’s association of public utility vehicles in Baguio City to inform their patrons or customers to observe physical distancing and post signages in their establishments and offices about the policy, including the penalties for violators.
The ordinances were submitted to the Office of Mayor Benjamin Magalong for his signature.
Meanwhile, the body, through Resolution 274, s. 2020, has requested the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the city government, and the City Social Welfare and Development Office to accommodate in their programs media practitioners in Baguio as they are also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The resolution acknowledged the role of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club, Inc. as a partner of the city government in its programs.
The club is composed of members working in newspapers, television, and radio stations.
The resolution stressed that with the declaration of the state of calamity throughout the country, the media practitioners including workers in the advertisement and marketing, and the blocktimers are affected as the media outfits’ main sources of income for compensation for their workers have stopped.
In a separate resolution, the CSWDO was asked to consider the possibility of distributing milk formula to lactating mothers and mothers with toddlers.
The council also requested, under Resolution 272, s. 2020, private medical clinics, laboratory facilities, and optical clinics in Baguio to open and cater to the health and medical needs of residents.
In Resolution 263, s. 2020, the DSWD-Cordillera was requested to immediately undertake the assessment process for the Livelihood Assistance Grant (LAG) for its timely/early release which is also helpful in the economic recovery of the city.
The grant of LAG is for the economic recovery and rehabilitation of the livelihoods of affected families after the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine is lifted which can be used as a seed capital for new alternative income generating activities in certain micro-enterprise ventures, and may be used also as a support and an additional capital to the existing viable enterprise of the target beneficiaries.
In Resolution 270, s. 2020, the council asked the regional offices of the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to provide financial assistance to private educational institutions/schools in Baguio, which are now adversely affected by the indefinite suspension of classes due to the ECQ.
The resolution stated that private schools and other educational institutions have been adversely affected because of the uncertainty of class resumptions. This is aggravated by the fact that many students have not fully paid their tuition and other school fees, while those who have fully settled their obligations are now requesting for a refund claiming that they have not completed the remaining school days for the school year 2019-2020, which is an added dilemma for the private schools on how they can refund a portion of fees already paid in full.
Through Resolution 269, s. 2020, Baguio residents are being encouraged to use bicycles as a mode of transportation during the ECQ and general community quarantine.