Departments told to review permits processing procedures
The city council session presided over by City Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan has approved Resolution 474, s. 2021 authorizing Mayor Benjamin Magalong in behalf of the city government to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (Psalm) for the purchase of 4,928 square meters lot where the Baguio Sewerage Treatment Plant is located at Sanitary Camp.
The subject lot is part of the 10 parcels of lot with an aggregate area of 6,332 square meters and covered by transfer certificates of title or the “Baguio Property,” which Psalm had acquired from National Power Corporation.
The remaining 1,404 square meters is not included in the proposal since it is affected or traversed by transmission lines of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
Psalm is an attached agency of the Department of Energy with the mandate to liquidate financial obligations of NPC pursuant to Republic Act 9136 or the “Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001,” (Epira), which transferred or acquired under its charge and disposition the Baguio Property.
The intended purchase is a result of the mutual understanding and cooperation of the city government and Psalm for the implementation of government-to-government disposal of the property in keeping with the Psalm’s mandate under Epira for the privatization of NPC assets, while pursuing the development plans of the city government such as the optimum rehabilitation and development of its sewerage treatment plant.
The mayor was also authorized to negotiate with Psalm for the purchase of the remaining 1,404 square meters as it favorable to the city and necessary to the pressing need of the sewer facility for a wider area to pave way for its expansion for the growing number clients, and in support to the city’s “clean river” and “ambient and quality air” which support the national government program for a healthier environment.
Further, the mayor was authorized to execute with Psalm a deed of transfer and conveyance on the purchased lot/s in favor of the city.
All the documents will serve as a basis for a compromise agreement to be entered into in civil case “National Power Corporation vs. The City of Baguio” docketed as civil case 6801 filed by NPC on Oct. 28, 2008 for the recovery of possession of real properties with damages, including back rentals and is currently pending with the Baguio Regional Trial Court Branch 61.
The city council through Resolution 476, s. 2021 asserted the city government has no more claims, causes of action, charges, assessments, and other collectibles from Psalm upon the execution and confirmation of the deed of transfer and conveyance over the Baguio Property.
Aligned with the policy to increase efficiency by reducing processing time, eliminating red tape, and curbing corrupt and bureaucratic practices pursuant to “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018,” the body requested through Resolution 472, s. 2021, all departments and offices in the city government involved in the issuance of clearances and permits to review their office mandate and jurisdiction to refrain from performing other functions lodged with other departments.
The resolution cited the mandate of President Rodrigo Duterte for local governments to fast-track the grant of permits and licenses to their clients based on the provisions of the law providing for the ease of doing business in the country and the city government’s commitment in providing efficient and customer-friendly service in the application and grant of business permits and licenses to their clients.
It also stated the unprecedented effect of the health crisis that triggered many businesses to shut down operations and massive lay-off of their employees, which prompted the city government to promote programs and activities that are favorable in revitalizing business and economic activities in the city with proper observance of health protocols.
“These pandemic times, many citizens are struggling financially and mentally to provide for their families” and that “business people, commercial owners and tenants who are applying for permits and licenses should not be burdened by tedious and cumbersome process in their application,” stressed the resolution.
In Resolution 473, s. 2021, the city’s Performance and Governance Audit Team was requested to evaluate the processing of business permits in the city government and to submit a report to the city council for appropriate legislative intervention.
The request is aligned with Resolution 212, s, 2019, which supports the move of Magalong to further enhance the delivery of public service through performance efforts of city departments.
The resolution stated that many people who lost their jobs were constrained to find alternative means to provide for their families by putting up their own business and online selling to cope with the pandemic.
“As such, the need for outlining a more efficient and customer friendly measures in the processing of application for business permits and licenses to help ease the financial burden of those applying for such permits and licenses,” added the resolution.