February 24, 2024

The city council has approved Ordinance 93, s. 2023 or the “Healthy Public Open Spaces Initiative Ordinance of the City of Baguio” for the promotion, creation, use, and maintenance of healthy open spaces in communities, and other health and environment initiatives in the city.
The ordinance aims to guide the identification, assessment, use, and management of public open spaces to promote sustainability and support the physical and mental health and well-being of Filipinos residing within the city through sound principles and policies.
This entails the adoption of the principle of equity and inclusivity wherein public open spaces shall be designed and developed with cognizance of the needs of all individuals, especially vulnerable population groups within the community.
Developers, administrators, and enforcers shall make use of participatory or intersectoral approaches, gender mainstreaming strategies, and universal design practices, among others, to make public open spaces accessible to all individuals regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and/or socio-economic status.
The principle of sustainability is that public open spaces shall be designed, developed, and maintained to promote practices that maintain the environmental, social, and economic needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Environmental and cultural protection,which requires that public open spaces must promote environmental sustainability, conservation, and green practices, as well as local cultural heritage, shall be designed, developed, and maintained with these in mind.
Public open spaces as defined under the ordinance is an umbrella term that refers to land spaces provided by the national or local government units, designated as parks, and intended for physical activity, leisure, and recreational use by the public. It may also include privately owned land spaces made publicly accessible, such as blue, green, and urban spaces characterized by surface or setting.
A task force under the City Environment and Parks Management Office shall be established to oversee the development of policies, review development plans and proposals, enforce local ordinances, lead communications, serve as the main liaison for partnerships, and others roles and responsibilities concerning the creation and maintenance of healthy public open spaces.
The task force will be composed of the city mayor as chairperson, the city vice mayor as vice chairperson and action officer, the Cepmo as secretariat, and the various city offices as members, including the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The City Planning and Development Office is tasked to identify existing and new spaces within the jurisdiction of the city that may be utilized. It shall also spearhead the creation of the development plan for the said public open spaces. It shall hold public consultations as necessary to ensure the appropriateness and inclusivity of the intervention.
All project proposals shall undergo, as applicable, a thorough review, including but not limited to the conduct of an environmental impact assessment by Presidential Decree 1586; health impact assessment by the Department of Health-Department of the Interior and Local Government Joint Administrative Order 2021-0001; and the climate and disaster risk assessment by Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009.
Identified public spaces shall comply with the minimum standards, such as being open and accessible; child, elderly, persons with disabilities, and pet-friendly; safe space for all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics;
Smoke, vape, drug, and alcohol-free;Promotive of handwashing and sanitation;Eco-friendly, sustainable, and non-polluting;
Climate and disaster resilient; promotive of local culture, arts, heritage, creativity, and biodiversity; provide opportunities for physical activities social interaction, and exposure to nature; and well managed and maintained.
The same standards shall be reflected in the development and/or updating of the City Comprehensive Land Use Development Plan, which shall contain the detailed schema for the phased execution of public open spaces projects.
The ordinance also encouraged the city to use endemic species of plants and trees, as identified by the Cepmo and Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR, to maintain and/or restore the natural biodiversity in the area.
The other endeavors are for the Health Promotion Unit of the City Health Services Office to provide health-promoting activities, materials, and equipment in public open spaces like group dance activities, playgrounds, bike paths, etc.; and engage in active communication of the importance of physical activity and other healthy behaviors.
The city will also ensure the provision of adequate staffing for the upkeep and management of public open spaces, as may be deemed necessary. Environmental fees may be imposed on parks and open spaces identified as tourist destinations, following a duly enacted city ordinance, otherwise, public open spaces shall be made free and accessible to all.
Also, the city must provide functional high-resolution closed-circuit television cameras in all public open spaces.
The Public Order and Safety Division shall ensure the stationing of security enforcers or tanod in the vicinity of public open spaces to maintain the safety and security of the area and enforce rules and regulations.
The Baguio City Police Office, through the Women and Children Protection Unit, shall provide a women’s and children’s help desk near public open spaces and ensures the conspicuous posting of complaint hotline numbers to receive reports concerning the safety and concerns of promenaders/parkgoers.
The Cepmo, the CHSO, and the City Planning and Development Office shall oversee the monitoring and evaluation of the principles, policies, and provisions of this Ordinance.
An initial funding of P4.5 million was provided by the DOH-CAR for the implementation of the ordinance, and the succeeding funds that shall be incorporated into the annual budget of the Cepmo, CPDO, and CHSO.
Also, the city council has approved Ordinance 94, s. 2023 for amendment of Section 3 of Ordinance 45, s. 2023or the Education Financial Assistance Grant of P8,000 each to qualified underprivileged student-residents of the city.
The amendment is to extend the educational assistance to poor and underprivileged but deserving students every semester per school year not only to those enrolled and excel academically in any tertiary schools located within, but also those enrolled outside the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Baguio.
Another is Ordinance 95, s. 2023, which further amends Section 24 of Tax Ordinance 2000-001 for the update and increase of fees for services rendered or provided by the Local Civil Registry to support the maintenance and upgrade of efficient services to the public of the LCR.
The amended schedule of fees to be collected for services rendered at LCR includes the issuance of a certificate of birth/marriage/death – P80; certified true copy and other certifications per page – P60; late registration fees: beyond 30 days but less than a year – P200, beyond one year – P200; and marriage application fee – P200: processing fee –P100;Security documents – P150; supplemental report – P220 ; MC 2010-04c –P150; and electronic endorsement for clearer/negative copy – P160.00; RA 9048 on petition for: change of first name – P3,000, correction of clerical error – P1,000, c) service fee (migrant): CFN and RA 0172 – P1,000 and CCE – P500;
Registration of legal instruments (legitimation, acknowledgement, emancipation of minor, election of Philippine citizenship, loss of Filipino citizenship, registration of Affidavit of Reappearance and Repatriation – P200;
Registration of court decrees/decisions (adoption, naturalization, annulment of marriage, declaration of void marriage, legal separation, guardianship, judicial determination of paternity filiation, civil interdiction, others) – P400; and certificate of authenticity – P100; certificate of on-process – P80; and out-of-town assistance fee – P100.
Availment by indigents is free of charge provided they will show proof, such as the certificate of indigency issued by the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
Copies of the ordinances were forwarded to the office of City Mayor Benjamin Magalong for his signature.