July 17, 2024

The city council has approved on first reading a proposed ordinance prescribing rules on the operation, management, and maintenance of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management (CDRRM) building. 

According to Councilor Fred Bagbagen, who proposed the ordinance, the operation and management of the CDRRM building should be maximized so that the city government can financially benefit from it.

The CDRRM Office shall be primarily responsible for the operation and management of the building. 

The function halls on the third and fourth floors shall be used primarily as evacuation centers during disasters. It may be used for meetings, conventions, fora, symposia, congresses, lectures, seminars, and other similar activities during normal situations. The CDRRMO may allow the use of the building for other purposes as long as these will not in any way cause damage to the facility. 

Rentals will be charged for the use of the function halls. For conventions and meetings, the rent shall be P2,500 for 10 hours, P1,500 for five hours or less, and P300 for every excess hour; and for rehearsals, preparations, and setting up before meetings or conventions, the charge shall be P1,500 for 10 hours, P800 for five hours or less, and P200 for every excess hour.

As a general rule, a fraction of an hour shall be charged for the full hour.

In cases where the city government shortens the use of the function hall, the renter shall enjoy a rebate at the rate of P200 per hour.

Five percent of catering cost for food shall be served inside the function hall.

Activities that are non-commercial in nature sponsored by the city government shall be free of charge. Government-sponsored activities and those that are co-sponsored by the city government, unless commercial in nature, shall be charged 50 percent of the regular rates to cover water, electric, security, and other expenses. For activities sponsored by charitable institutions, a 25 percent discount shall be given.

All rents collected, including donations, shall be kept in a CDRRM trust fund in the name of the City Government of Baguio. Expenses relative to the maintenance and improvements of the building shall be charged against the trust fund; provided major improvements shall be subject to the approval of the city council.

According to the ordinance, the rental of the building shall be on an “as-is” basis which means security shall be the responsibility of the renter and that other services and amenities needed by the renter such as sound system, chairs, and the like, shall be “for their own account.” The renter shall be liable for any loss and/or damage that may be caused to the building or to any person or property.

The CDRRMO, in coordination with the city legal officer, shall prepare a contract that includes all the salient provisions of the ordinance and a clause exempting the city government from any liability during the rental period. 

The CDRRMO, being the administrator of the building, shall submit a monthly report on its operation including a financial statement to the Office of the City Mayor and to the city council. 

The proposed ordinance has been referred to the sanggunian’s committee on ethics, governmental affairs, and personnel for review.  – Jordan G. Habbiling