The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first and final reading a proposed ordinance declaring Baguio as a Character City and adopting its Character City programs.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Isabelo Cosalan, Jr. stated that it shall be a policy of the local government to adopt a character-based approach in governance where each and every citizen, community leaders, government officials and employees, are models or exemplars of good character.
The author added that the principal purpose of the said ordinance is the elevation, advancement, promotion and development of Baguio as a Character City.
The ordinance mandated the creation of the Baguio City Character Council that will be designated by the City Mayor through an Executive or Administrative order with a term of 3 years unless revoked earlier.
The aforesaid council shall be composed of the City Mayor as chairperson and action officer, representative of an accredited civil society organization from the faith community as co-chairperson with the Vice mayor serving as vice chairperson. The members of the council shall include all members of the city council, representative of the Office of the Congressman, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay – Baguio City chapter, president of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation, representatives from the local business sector duly accredited by the local government, representatives from the DepEd, CHED, TESDA, representatives from the local academe o schools, representatives from the law enforcement agencies, representatives from the local information officer and media and other personalities deemed necessary s determined by the council once convened by the City mayor.
Among the functions of the council include the promotion of values towards attaining the vision and mission of the local government as a Character City; develop programs and recommend actions for the improvement of the operations and implementation of the Character City programs; conduct, coordinate and supervise orientation, workshops, seminars, trainings, conferences, conventions, year-end assessment and summits on character development among others; organize and manage the celebration of the Character City Week which is set every third week of September; institutionalize the Character program; and formulate the manual on character building and development.
The ordinance provided that the amount necessary to implement the provisions of the measure shall be appropriated in the annual budget of the City Mayor’s office.
The ordinance claimed that the role of character has always been the key factor in the rise and fall of nations. It is the only effective bulwark against internal and external forces that lead to a country’s disintegration or collapse.
It stipulated that the mission of the Baguio Character Council is to make Baguio a God-loving and God-fearing City with determined leaders in partnership with self-reliant and disciplined citizenry by strengthening the ethical and spiritual values and developing the moral character of the populace.