Issue of November 24, 2019
     
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Release of barangays’ share from ARO fines clarified
by Jordan G. Habbiling / PIO

The city council sought clarification on the release of shares of barangays from collected fines and fees pursuant to the implementation of the Anti-Obstruction Road Operation (ARO) and Tax Ordinance 2011-01.

City Accountant Antonio Tabin and City Treasurer Alexander Cabarrubias were joined by Police Major Oliver Panabang of the Traffic Enforcement Unit-Baguio City Police Office (TEU-BCPO) during the city council’s regular session on Nov. 18 to shed light on the matter.

The ARO was enacted through an administrative order signed by then Mayor Mauricio Domogan in 2016. Administrative Order 116, s. 2016 stipulates a 70-30 scheme where 70 percent of collected fines from the ARO violations will be remitted to the concerned barangays while the 30 percent will accrue to the city government.

Tabin clarified that the barangays’ share is meant to be used only for peace and order programs in the barangays.

Cabarrubias said in 2018, the names of the barangays were not indicated on the official receipts of paid fines, thus they were unable to keep track of each barangay’s accurate share.

Tabin and Panabang said that barangay officials were advised to coordinate with the TEU-BCPO at Compact 4 (Precinct 3 of BCPO Station 7) to obtain their barangays’ ARO records which will guide the City Accounting Office in determining their shares. As per records of the City Accounting Office, only seven barangays were able to claim their 2018 share.

Cabarrubias and Tabin, however, assured that the shares of each barangay are now given more efficiently for this year’s collection.  

Tax Ordinance 2011-01 (Amending Section 33, Parking Fees, of Tax Ordinance 2000-001) requires parking fees for each vehicle parked in parking lots that are “maintained/operated by the City Government of Baguio.”

Several councilors pointed out that under the same ordinance, overnight parking along streets, on sidewalks, in public places, or on city and national roads maintained by the city is “indirectly allowed as it provides for overnight parking fees.”

It was determined that there is supposed to be a 50-50 scheme used for the collection of parking fees where the barangay is entitled a 50 percent share while  the other 50 percent goes to the city government.

Two councilors confirmed that parking fees are collected in certain barangays. Cabarrubias, however, claimed that the ordinance is “not being implemented” as the City Accounting Office is not involved in the collection of parking fees.

The council members also raised concern on the contradiction between the ARO and Tax Ordinance 2011-01 as one “prohibits” overnight parking on the aforementioned places while the other “indirectly allows” it through the provision of overnight parking fees.

The august body decided to refer the matter to the committee on public utilities, transportation, and traffic legislation in coordination with the committee on laws, human rights, and justice for further study and reasonable solutions.


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