Issue of January 13, 2019
Mt. Province

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BLISTTDA may open chances for municipalities’ improvement
by Ofelia C. Empian

Benguet Gov. Crescencio Pacalso said the realization of the Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay Development Authority conceptual framework could be an opportunity for the five outlying municipalities to improve the BLISTT area.

Pacalso said a master development plan is needed once the BLISTTDA is established, saying the development plans of the BLISTT towns should be synchronized with that of Baguio and vice versa.

“Baguio City should always include the Benguet towns when coming up with its plans and ordinances. Perhaps the city could revisit some of its ordinances and other socio-economic policies that affect the adjoining municipalities,” he said.

He cited as an example the city’s Truck Ban Ordinance implemented in 2017, which greatly affected the transport of temperate vegetables from the province to the local markets.

The city’s Truck Ban Ordinance limits the passage of heavy equipment vehicles, trailers, dump trucks, and other freight trucks on wheelers with gross weight capacity of 4,500 kilograms or more in city streets as a measure to ease its traffic problem.

With the backlash especially coming from the vegetable industry, the city government together with the provincial government of Benguet and vegetable truckers and traders came up with an agreement for Baguio to provide temporary passes to designated trucks to be exempted from the truck ban.

But even this was not enough to compensate the number of trucks needed to haul vegetables from various parts of the country.

Pacalso said though there are alternate routes proposed by the city for the trucks to pass through such as the Pico-Longlong Road, some of the huge 10-wheeler trucks could not negotiate the steepness of the road.

“These truckers still prefer the main roads and this means passing through the roads of Baguio City,” he said, adding this could have been prevented if the city consulted first the affected municipalities prior to approving the ordinance.

“Baguio should not plan for Baguio only but it should consider the surrounding communities because Baguio is reachable only through Benguet,” he said.

Pacalso clarified that it is a matter of involving the surrounding towns of Baguio when it comes to approving ordinances that would affect their neighbors.

He hopes that a proper communication between the BLISTT areas would be established once the BLISTTDA is approved.

On Jan. 4, the Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises headed by Sen. Dick Gordon held a public hearing in Baguio City to tackle House Bill 6974 and Senate Bill 1692, which seek to create BLISTTDA.

The Senate passed the bill on second reading, after all the inputs from the public hearing were incorporated in the measure.

BLISTT mayors, except Itogon, attended the hearing. Also present are Reps. Ronald Cosalan of Benguet and Mark Go of Baguio City and Pacalso, among other stakeholders.

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PWU Baguio
Technical Education & Skills Development Authority – CAR
University of Baguio

Baguio Central University
Baguio Country Club
Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc.
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – CAR
Congressman Ronald M. Cosalan
Department of Health – CAR
John Hay Management Corporation
National Grid Corporation of the Philippines
New Media Services
Pag–IBIG Fund
Pines City Colleges
Sangguniang Panlungsod

Assumption Medical Diagnostic Center
Baguio Center Mall
Baguio Water District
Choobi Choobi
Congressman Mark O. Go
Councilor Leandro B. Yangot Jr.
Curamed Pharmacy
Department of Environment and Natural Resources – CAR
Department of Public Works and Highways – CAR
Department of Science and Technology
Fabulo Beauty and Image Salon
Far East Pacific Commercial
Filipino–Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc.
Ganza & Solibao Restaurants
Gen. Benjie B. Magalong
GMS Technology
Governor Crescencio C. Pacalso
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan
Mayor Romeo K. Salda
Mother Earth Deli Basket
Nagomi Spa
Narda’s / Sunflower Ridge
Northern Luzon School for the Visually Impaired, Inc.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Montessori, Inc.
Philex Mining Corporation
Police Regional Office – CAR
Regional Development Council – CAR and National Economic and Development Authority – CAR
Regional Tripartate Wages and Productivity Board – CAR
SN Aboitiz
Tony Boy Tabora
Veterans Bank

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