Issue of February 3, 2019

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Council reiterates "no trade fair stand" at skating rink

The city council on Monday approved on third and final reading Ordinance 13, s. 2019 “Institutionalizing the period from Oct. 17 to 23 as national Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty (NWOEP) in the City of Baguio.”

The measure is pursuant to the 1993 Proclamation 269 of then President V. Ramos which declared Oct. 17 as national day for overcoming extreme poverty; Resolution 361, s. 1995, which sets Oct. 17 in 1995 as People’s Day or National Day for overcoming extreme poverty in the city of baguio; and of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Oct. 18, 2004 Proclamation 717 declaring Oct. 17 to 23 of every year as the NWOEP in the country.

The observance of the event is traced back to the Dec. 22, 1992 Resolution 47/196 of the United Nations General Assembly which declared Oct. 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and its invitation for all states to devote the day to presenting and promoting appropriate national concrete activities with regard to the eradication of poverty and destitution.

Based on the ordinance, a committee will be created to be chaired by the city mayor with the chairperson of the committee on social services, women, and urban poor as the vice chair in collaboration with members from various committees and agencies for the successful implementation of the activities, purpose, and objectives of the week-long occasion.

An initial amount of P500,000 from the city’s general fund was appropriated for the conduct of fitting programs and activities towards instilling public awareness for the eradication of poverty and destitution; affirming solidarity with people throughout the world in striving to eradicate extreme poverty; and giving poorer constituents an opportunity and privilege to uplift their socio-economic conditions.

In Resolution 30, s. 2019, the body reiterated its previous unfavorable stand to the “conduct of trade fair or market encounter at the skating rink area and its surrounding tree park at burnham park in relation to the celebration of the 2019 panagbenga” and expressed its dismay over the complete disregard of the provisions of existing laws and ordinances by the market encounter or trade fair organizers.

Also, the trade fair organizers were asked to dismantle all the display tents/stalls already installed at the contested area and for relocation to a suitable and allowed area.

The resolution stressed on the provisions of Ordinance 13, series of 2012 or the amended Baguio City Trade Fair Ordinance, which “totally disallows the conduct of trade fairs and other similar activities in all city-owned or city-managed public parks, including government owned and controlled properties and facilities”; Ordinance 18, s. 2016 or the environment code of the city of baguio, which gives exemptions to the conduct of recreation, tourism, and economic activities in safeguarded landscapes in relation to institutionalized/special events of the city provided it is organized or cosponsored and with approval by the local government unit concerned; and the Local Government Code of 1991.

Meanwhile, the body urged hotels and dormitories, as well as private and public offices, schools, malls, and other high-rise and large structures to be compliant with the requirements of the revised National Building Code and its implementing rules and regulations.

The advisory through Resolution 028, s. 2019 wants all the concerned building owners and administrators to conduct with concerned authorities an earthquake risk audit in compliance with the minimum standards and requirements of the code on the location, site, design, quality of materials, construction, use, occupancy, and maintenance of their buildings and structures.

The audit is necessary for the immediate retrofitting of buildings found deficit of the necessary safety parameters required by the code to ensure structural soundness and resilience of all the buildings that could withstand a magnitude 8 temblor and such other natural calamities in order to minimize, if not prevent, damage to persons and properties.

Citing Baguio City as listed among the most risk-prone cities in Asia as it sits on at least seven fault lines, the resolution stressed active response to the call in preparation to the worst scenario as in the 1990 earthquake of 7.7 magnitude that struck northern and central parts of the country, leaving the city largely devastated, with crumbled buildings and thousands of people dead.

Understanding the concern of the affected residents of Scout Barrio barangay, the body through Resolution 027, s. 2019 has expressed its strong opposition to John Hay Management Corporation-Bases Conversion and Development Authority’s plan of constructing a hospital within the open space/camping/football ground area at Scout Barrio barangay.

The residents welcome the construction of a hospital facility, but not in the contested area, which is the only remaining open space in the barangay suitable for necessary purposes, such as community gatherings, sports activities, evacuation site in time of disasters, and such other important uses by the constituents and the city government.

As stated in the resolution, the construction of a hospital or any large structures in the area would only result to ecological damage.

In another request, through joint Resolution 022, s. 2019, the body appealed for the Philippine Military Academy to suspend the implementation of its new camp policy at Camp Henry T. Allen, which is greatly affecting the residents of the Camp Allen barangay.

Punong Barangay Maribel Estacion of Camp Allen and the barangay constituents asked for consideration regarding PMA’s new policy in the opening and closing time of the camp’s gate, thus the body, in support to the appeal of affected residents of Camp Allen barangay, requested for consideration from the concerned authority, through Col. Christopher Sab-it, by going back to the old policy on the opening and closing time of the camp’s gate ; and intervene on the manner by which the new policy is implemented by the military personnel on duty at the camp’s main gate.

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