BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance amending Ordinance No. 68, series of 1948 that prescribed the rules and regulations for boating in Burnham Park lake, fixing the rates of the use of boats, and providing penalties for violations of the measure.
The ordinance authored by Vice Mayor Edison R. Bilog stated that children should always be accompanied by adults before they are allowed to rent boats; schoolchildren are not allowed to ride on boats during school days without the company of their parents, teachers or guardians; prohibition of the racing of boats, drunk customers from renting boats, throwing of objects into the water by boat riders such as refuse, paper, stone, leftover food, empty cans, containers among others, bathing or washing in the lake, urinating or defecating in the lake, fishing in the lake unless the activity is spearheaded by the local government and with written consent from the City Environment and Parks Management Office, unnecessary shouting or creating noise in the lake among others.
The ordinance stipulated that any increase in the rental rates of boats shall have the written consent and approval of the local government through the recommendation of the Burnham Park Management Committee and uniform boat rental rates shall be posted in strategic places within the vicinity of the boating concessionaires and such printing and costing of the rentals shall be the responsibility and at the expense of the boating concessionaires.
Further, the uniform design, size, printing, location of the boat ride rates shall be in coordination with the CEPMO.
Under the provisions of the ordinance, violation of the provisions of the ordinance shall be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P2,500 for the second offense and P5,000 for the third offense aside from the revocation of business permit of the concessionaire and the stoppage of his or her boating rental activities.
The ordinance tasked the boat operators and the CEPMO personnel in coordination with the Baguio city Police office (BCPO) and the security agency personnel contracted out by the local government to ensure the strict enforcement and implementation of the prohibited acts in the boating area.
Since the enactment of Ordinance No. 68, series of 1948, the measure was never amended or repealed that caused some of its provisions to be no longer applicable with the present scenario in the Burnham Park lake, thus, the need to amend the ordinance.
The proposal also seeks to acquire the input of the key stakeholders on the matter wherein a public hearing was conducted on December 18, 2017 in relation to the same.
The ordinance was referred to a committee of the local legislative body for study and recommendation whether or not the measure will be able to be passed on second and third readings for its implementation that will be beneficial to the boating concessionaries and the local government.
By Dexter A. See