BAGUIO CITY – Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon strongly denounced the actuations of Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong in publicly spreading false allegations against her on various issues which runs counter to the administration’s motto of ‘good governance beyond politics.’
In her privilege speech during last Monday’s regular session of the city council, Yaranon claimed that she was falsely accused of intentionally twisting facts and figures and of ‘namomolitika’ which are baseless and false from the start.
To enlighten the people on the context of her Facebook post, she pointed out that the BIBAK dormitory, which was used as a dormitory for students from Bontoc, Ifugao, Benguet, Apayao and Kalinga, is similar to the proposed dormitory for indigent students as posted by lawyer Leni Robredo on her Facebook page but through the years, informal settlers occupied the BIBAK area and it was the city government during Mayor Mauricio Domogan’s time that the 54 structures of the settlers were voluntarily demolished sometime in October 2017.
The councilor explained that the BIBAK issue is a task of the Sangguniang Panlungsod because the local legislative body received a letter dated May 18, 2022 from the mayor requesting for authority to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the rehabilitation, development, modernization and utilization of a portion of OCT No. 1.
However, during the council session on June 27, 2022, DENR-CAR regional director Ralph Pablo and City Planning and Development Officer Arch. Donna Tabangin were invited to shed light on OCT No. 1 and the BIBAK area’s planned development.
Pablo informed city legislators that during the crafting of the MOA with the DENR, the BIBAK lot and the Gov. Pack road was embodied in just one agreement. In as much as there is a pending issue, the subject of congressional hearing spearheaded by Kalinga Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang, DENR opted not to include the BIBAK lot yet and subject it to further deliberation because the NCIP would also like to be the administrator of the said lot.
Yaranon also belied Magalong’s allegations of ‘namamangka sa dalawang ilog,’ saying that her candidates for President and the Vice President were respectively, Leni Robredo and Kiko Pangilinan only. Further, her mayoralty candidate was Mauricio G. Domogan and that her vice mayor was Michael Lawana. She emphasized that she never supported 2 presidents and that she joined Team Domogan because they have the same cause, which is, the rehabilitation of the Baguio public market by the city government and not by any corporation. Team Domogan allowed her to wear her pink vest as a guest candidate.
Yaranon expounded that ‘ang namamangka sa dalawang ilog’ is when one supports several presidentiables belonging to different parties at the same time ,which actually happened in the city.
On the market development, the lady legislator disclosed that at the start of the mayor’s term in July 2019, he promised that the city government will develop the public market. The mayor then asked her to form a team to make a master plan for the modernization and rehabilitation of the market and the time frame that he gave the team was 2 months only, thus, she immediately formed a technical working group composed of representatives from the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) as the secretariat, the chairman of the Committee on Market, representatives from City Engineer’s Office, City Planning Office, among others.
Because of the time constraint and the lack of human resources at that time, she said that the group asked the services of an architectural firm headed by Arch. Ronnie Quijana, her former classmate at the St. Louis University (SLU), a Baguio born who just came from Abu Dhabi. He offered his skills and services for the love of Baguio.
The group was hoping that the mayor would join them in the conduct of consultations with the affected sectors for him to listen to the plight of the people but he never came.
According to her, the allegation of the mayor that her architects are demanding 10 percent of the project cost as payment for the preparation of the design as the same is contrary to what was prescribed in the regular design services fee for architects pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9266 is also a twisted fact which had been explained earlier.
Worst, the mayor’s allegation is a big disappointment to all the stakeholders who participated in the preparation and planning of the design as no single centavo was paid to those who sacrificed their time, effort and resources to beat the deadline.
Yaranon argued that it is also disheartening if the market will end up being developed by a private corporation through the private-public partnership in the guise of a better Baguio.
With regards the issue on ‘bakit tumatahimik lang kayo, itong nangyayaring substandard na ginagawa ng DPWH,’ Yaranon asserted that the DPWH is a national government agency and that a case has already been filed by the mayor on the said matter.
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