Issue of January 7, 2018

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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City council reports on 2017 accomplishments

The city council under the leadership of Vice Mayor Edison Bilog has successfully accomplished its tasks and duties in addressing various issues and concerns encountered by the City of Baguio and its people for 2017.

Committed to its legislative mandate, the council diligently enacted appropriate measures intended to the best interest and needs of the city and the constituents. The body also set policy directions for future development.

The formulation of the various legislations were made possible with the active participation of councilors Leandro Yangot, Edgar Avila, Joel Alangsab, Faustino Olowan, Elmer Datuin, Mylen Yaranon, Elaine Sembrano, Peter Fianza, Lilia Fariñas, Arthur Allad-iw, Benny Bomogao, Michael Lawana, and the late Bobby Ortega.

The vice mayor and the councilors working as a collective body for the whole 2017 have conducted 37 regular sessions, six special sessions, and 32 public hearings resulting in the approval of 459 resolutions and 133 ordinances.

Among the vital measures enacted by the body are the “2017 Real Property Tax Amnesty Ordinance” granting relief on penalties, fines, surcharges, interests, and/or arrears to delinquent real property taxpayers; the “Anti-Discrimination Ordinance,” which enforces equal protection of the law; and the “Pauper’s Burial Ordinance” providing free and decent burial services for indigents, street roamers, victims of disasters or crimes who have no claimants, and are residents of the city.

The approved regulatory measures with penalties or fines are the “Truck Ban Ordinance,” which prohibits trucks plying the city roads during rush hours specifically from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; the “Anti-Colorum Ordinance” for the protection of legitimate public utility vehicles and the safety of the riding public; the “Anti-Bullying Ordinance” to protect the rights of students to quality education, healthy educational environment, and for the promotion of peace and order in the city; and the “Half-Rice Ordinance” requiring food establishments in the city to include one-half cup of rice in their menu to avoid rice wastage and in support of the 2013 National Year of Rice and the “Be Riceponsible” campaign of the Department of Agriculture.

For the enhancement of the environment and the protection of health the “Smoke-free Baguio Ordinance” ensures the wellbeing of the public by protecting them from the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco consumption; “Plastic and Styrofoam Free Baguio Ordinance” for the betterment of the environment; “Baguio Patients’ Rights Ordinance” ensures and protects the rights of patients to decent, humane, and quality health care; and the ordinance designating the Rose Garden at Burnham Park, the Rizal Park, and the landscaped area fronting the City Hall as areas showcasing the use of organic fertilizers derived from the Environmental Recycling System and the Baguio Sewer Treatment Plant.

The other enacted legislations are the “Tourism Statistics Standards Ordinance,” which guarantees reliability of tourists data; the “No Closed Circuit Television, No Business Permit Ordinance,” which supports the safety, peace and order in the city; the annual conduct of disability-related activities or celebrations; Marriage Week every Feb. 7 to 14; Environment Week every first week of June; and the Cooperative Month every October.

Through separate actions are the approved ordinances mandating the barangays to establish and maintain their respective persons with disabilities desk and PWD committee; for the teaching and non-teaching personnel of private and public schools to undergo disaster risk reduction training; and for security guards, officers, and consultants to undergo mandatory local orientation and trainings for emergency response, traffic direction and crime reporting.

In Resolution 129 s. 2017, the body called for the return of the lead role in the preparations and management of the Baguio Flower Festival or Panagbenga starting 2018 and every year thereafter to the city government of Baguio.

The resolution also expressed the city’s gratitude to Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. for the successful staging of the Panagbenga for the past years, which made it one of the most-watched festivals in the country.

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