June 17, 2024

The city council on Monday has approved Ordinance 71, s. 2020 or the “Public Utility Jeepneys Tip Boxes Ordinance in Baguio.”
The ordinance is intended to mitigate the impact of Memorandum Circular 2020-017 of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board which limits the operation of mass public transport vehicles during general community quarantine to a passenger load not exceeding 50 percent of the vehicle’s seating capacity.
It says that the daily revenue of the operators and drivers have been significantly reduced due to the limited load capacity requirement.
The boxes are for gratuities given by passengers for the driver and operator.
The ordinance states that giving a tip is a sort of legal way for the public to help operators and drivers cope with their reduced income and to contribute in the operational costs in maintaining of public utility vehicles.
The ordinance will remain in effect until a new circular is issued by the LTFRB allowing the full operation capacity of public utility vehicles or the issuance of a new fare adjustment.
Also approved is Ordinance 72, s. 2020 amending Ordinance 22, s. 2012, which prohibits and punishes any person to breach a police cordon set up by the Philippine National Police or other law enforcement agencies on occasion of actual confrontation with criminal elements, during rescue and firefighting operations and during the investigation of a crime or incident.
The amendatory ordinance included destroying police cordon a punishable offense.It also penalizes any person who alters, tinkers, or removes any physical or documentary evidence.
Cordoned areas are indicated not necessarily by a yellow strip but any clothing or other material which bears in bold face the words “police line, do not cross” or anything such as rope, plastic cord, and the like which are installed by police intending to restrict unauthorized entry into the crime scene.
A fine of P5,000 and/or imprisonment of 30 days at the discretion of the court shall be imposed to any violators.
The main purpose of the ordinance is to prevent kibitzers from getting near a crime scene.
The ordinances were submitted to Mayor Benjamin Magalong for his signature.
In Resolution 359, the city government has conveyed its gratitude to Benguet caretaker Eric Yap for allowing the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and automated extraction machines he donated to the Benguet General Hospital to be temporarily used at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
At the onset of the outbreak, the BGHMC sub-national laboratory was only able to perform 600 to 800 tests per day despite the presence of a significant number of RT-PCR machines because of the manual extraction of specimen which prolongs the release of results to as long as more than 10 days in some instances.
Last June 10, a staff member of Yap also turned over to the BGHMC management assorted test kits that could produce some 10,000 tests that paved the way for the sub-national testing laboratory to further improve its testing capacity as it is now capable of conducting around 2,000 tests per day.
The resolution stated that BGHMC health officials and pathologists recognized the enormous contribution of the loaned RT-PCR and automated extraction machines in easing their burden and speeding up the release of swab test results. It stated that the faster release of results allowed concerned local governments to be able to implement measures in preventing the spread of the virus in their areas of jurisdiction.
In Resolution 362, s. 2020, the city council has urged the Department of Trade and Industry to classify personal computer, laptop or notebook computer, tablet and other gadgets as essential goods in preparation for the opening of classes on August for academic year 2020-2021.
Resolution 362 states that the increased demand for these gadgets have resulted in a price hike. Based on DTI classification, gadgets are considered non-essential goods which the agency cannot exercise price control.
The resolution has suggested to DTI that through its power to regulate the sale and distribution of consumer goods, it shall consider products not classified as essentials before are now considered essential considering that the blended learning strategy is expected to demand more paperless, cashless and other online transactions.
In Resolution 361, s. 2020 the council requested all higher education institutions in Baguio to consider granting full or partial discount of miscellaneous fees that will not be entirely used by the students for their online classes.
The resolution further suggested that the HEIs should study giving a full or partial discount of miscellaneous fees such as athletic, audio-visual, cultural, dental, medical, library, laboratory, and Internet feesas students cannot benefit from these services under the blended learning arrangement.