October 3, 2023

Don’t know about you, but this near-sighted Ibaloy writer believes that the conduct of public consultations or dialogues, especially when it comes to the crafting of our laws, is beneficial even for a somewhat elitist and crazy (some say, deadly) democracy such as ours. More often than not, it is still much better that the public be given the chance to give our say or five cents worth on proposed legislations before these are passed into laws that would directly, or indirectly affect our lives and that of our loved ones. In this particular case, ignorance is definitely not bliss.
With this in mind, the city council through its committee on social services, women and urban poor chaired by Councilor Lilia Fariñas conducted a public consultation on the city’s Gender Equality and Development (GEAD) and Children’s Welfare and Protection Codes recently at the sangguniang panlungsod session hall.
Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan, a member of the committee, said the half-day consultation aimed to get suggestions on possible amendments and comments from concerned offices, agencies, private institutions, groups, and others that will assist the local legislature in crafting the best, most relevant ordinances and other laws possible.
The GEAD Code was passed by the city council on Oct. 3, 2005 and approved by then mayor Braulio Yaranon on Oct. 25 of the same year. Meanwhile, the Children’s Welfare Code was passed by the city council on Aug. 17, 2009 and approved by former mayor Reinaldo Bautista, Jr. on Sept. 9, 2009.
The Gender Code makes it a policy of the city government to recognize the various needs of its diverse and multi-ethnic population and accordingly, the city’s programs and projects shall be “gender sensitive and gender fair.”
On the other hand, the Children’s Code makes it a city government policy to effectively promote, fully enhance, and institutionalize the survival, protection, development, and participation rights of children within the framework of advancing general welfare in furtherance of integrated and equitable development.
It also provides a continuum of services for children and their families from prevention to treatment considering, whenever possible, prevention, diversion, and early intervention in the home, schools, and community, among other institutions.

Good news: Birthday greetings to my lovely daughter Samantha who turns 19 today, Nov. 10. She is a freshman Economics student at the University of the Philippines Baguio. Thank God she got her mother’s beauty and brains. We love you, Sam!

Here’s “Invisible, Part VI” by Gabriel Baban Keith: “Are you an Ibaloy in Baguio?/ Then you have one strike against you/ as member of an invisible,/ fractured and marginalized tribe/ in the land of your brave,/ quiet (unless nakainom)/ but short-sighted/ ancestors./ Baguio is no longer the/ Kafagway you once knew/ where Ibaloys were front and center/ in Bag-iw’s collective kanyaw./ Now, the shy mangus (unless drunk)/ are scattered in the periphery,/ outskirts, of their original hearth and home:/ Forgotten (except during elections and Ibaloy Day),/ shunned, set aside, out-of-place, tolerated./ Baguio is now a congested melting pot where/ vanishing pine trees and sidewalks/ get more attention than/ vanishing Ibaloys./ Baguio is now a hollowed shell/ of what it once was and/ never will be.”

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May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.