BAGUIO CITY – Local legislators requested President Rodrigo Duterte to veto House Bill (HB) 8882 or the revised Baguio City charter because of the presence of flawed provisions that are inimical to the interest of the people.
In a resolution passed by the local legislative body, it was discovered that the revised charter does not contain a definite territory which indicates the metes and bounds of the city which is contrary to other similar charters that already contain definite boundaries of the concerned local governments.
The council also pointed out the necessity of a provision in the charter that contains the definite meters and bounds of the city considering the problems arising from the absence of the same like the grotesque situation where the municipal hall of Tuba is within the boundary of the city and that some real properties, especially those located in adjoining barangays like Sto. Tomas proper and Dontogan are being tax declared in Tuba.
The body observed that the definition of the boundary ‘the city shall comprise the present territorial jurisdiction of the city’ is ambiguous as the territory which is defined in the previous 1909 charter has undergone changes and the city is now administering a territory which is different from the former.
According to the council, it was also observed that the proceeds from the sale of lands under the proposed charter go to the coffers of the national government which is not so in the previous charter where the proceeds of the same will go to the coffers of the local government which will be used to finance the Administrative Order (AO) 504 clearing committee that is tasked to approve applications for titling.
Moreover, some provisions of the proposed revised charter tend to undermine Resolution No. 362, series of 1994 or the 19 conditionalities that was imposed by the local government for the development of Camp John Hay (CJH).
The local legislative body reportedly submitted its position paper on the aforesaid issues and concerns to the Senate committee on local government but these were never considered in the crafting of the proposed revisions on the century-old charter.
Local legislators also raised the issue on the need to conduct a plebiscite for the ratification of the revisions on the charter to involve the people of the city because the introduced revisions were substantial pursuant to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines.
The council underscored that with the President set to veto the revised city charter, it will provide the opportunity for the further study and consultation to address the issues and concerns raised against the revisions introduced in the said charter.
During the regular session of the city council last March 7, 2021, Secretary Luzverfeda Pascual of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, Undersecretary Orville Balitoc and Assistant Secretary Romulo Munsayac, Jr. appeared and appraised the local legislators on House Bill (HB) No. 8882 or the revised city charter.
Pascual informed the body that the said bill is already an enrolled bill and is ready for transmission upon the signing of the Senate President to the President who can either approve or veto it within 30 days or just let it lapse into law.
Secretary Pascual invited the members of the council to make their comments on the said charter and whatever the legislators will agree upon for the information and guidance of the President.