Senate, CDA urged: Probe Cordillera transport coop

>> Tuesday, March 21, 2023

‘Malversation, mismanagement by president’ 

By Jordan Habbiling

BAGUIO CITY – The City council urged the Senate and the Cooperative Development Authority  to investigate the leadership and management crises currently experienced by the Cordillera Basic Sectors Transport Cooperative over allegations of mismanagement and malversation of funds by CBSTC leadership.
    The Senate was urged by the city government’s legislative body in a resolution last week to probe the issue, citing its lack of contempt power. 
    The CDA-Cordillera Administrative Region (CDA-CAR) was also asked by the council to resolve the leadership tussle along with other internal and management issues being experienced by the CBSTC.
    This, after members of CBSTC sought the help of the city council regarding the current state of their transport cooperative, accusing incumbent CBSTC chairperson Jude Wal of mismanagement and malversation. 
    The city council was informed there were now two sets of officers in the transport cooperative as a result of faction.
    CBSTC member Rolando Yambot claimed he was elected as new CBSTC chairperson during their general assembly last Jan. 14.
    Amid the escalating leadership impasse and mounting accusations against Wal, the city council summoned another forum, inviting all concerned parties to attend.
    For the third time, Wal failed to attend the council forum.
    During the forum, CDA-CAR regional director Marieta Hwang disclosed their office could not determine at the moment legitimate officers since both groups had allegedly committed violations in conduct of their respective elections.
    Hwang added her office attempted to conduct a “unified election” initially agreed to by both parties.
    But last March 6, Wal’s group informed CDA-CAR of their refusal to participate in said election.
    The matter would be referred to the CDA central office for adjudication, she said.
    With no final resolution yet by CDA on legitimate CBSTC officers, LandBank representative Julio Pagat said all withdrawals were suspended.
    He said both groups would not be honored by the bank at the moment pending resolution of the leadership crisis.
    Pagat confirmed that CBSTC under Wal’s leadership had been delayed in paying its loan amortization and that remedial measures such as restructuring and extending the term of the loan may be undertaken to avoid foreclosure.
    However, should the transport cooperative continue to fail in settling its loan obligation despite remedial measures applied, the only recourse would be foreclosure, Pagat added. 


House committee passes Cordillera autonomy bill

TABUK CITY, Kalinga -- The House committee on appropriations approved House Bill 3267 that seeks establishment of the Cordillera Autonomous Region.
    Rep. Allen Jesse Mangaoang of Kalinga said the proposed autonomy law will be transmitted to the House committee on rules for the same to be calendared for plenary debates, approval on second reading, period of amendments and third reading.
    He expressed hope the House committee on rules will calendar the bill for preliminary debates before Congress goes on its usual Holy Week break third week of March.
    Mangaoang said since the proposed autonomy bill had been extensively deliberated and approved by the members of the 18th Congress, the measure will not encounter rough sailing in the 19th Congress.
    Many Senate members pledged their support for the passage of the bill, according to the Kalinga solon.
    Earlier, the House committee on local government and committee on ways and means approved the proposed autonomy law thus the bill was transmitted to the House committee on appropriations.
    Mangaoang expressed hope  the proposed autonomy law can be submitted to Cordillerans for ratification by 2024 so the Cordillera autonomous region can be established before the May 2025 midterm elections.
    Based on a series of pulse surveys conducted by the Regional Development Council in the Cordillera, there was significant increase in the awareness of Cordillerans on the region's quest for autonomy.


Missing Cessna plane found in Isabela town; pilot, 5 passengers dead

CAUAYAN CITY -- The Isabela Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office on Thursday confirmed the missing Cessna aircraft has been found after searching for more than a month.
    However, the Isabela Incident Management Team said the pilot and five passengers on board did not survive the plane crash as their remains were found in Barangay Ditarum, Divilacan, Isabela Thursday, March 9.
    Killed were six passengers on board, including the pilot in the crashed Cessna RPC 1174 identified as pilot Captain Eleazar Mark Joven and passengers Tommy Manday, Val Kamatoy, Mark Eiron Siguerra, Xam Siguerra and Josefa Perla EspaƱa.
    Rescuers were working to bring down the remains at press time which could take at least three days, officials said.
    A search team found the plane within the 20-km radius of the Maconacon Airport where it was heading to on Jan. 24, said Isabela IMT head Constante Foronda.
    Foronda added that a former official from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines will visit the crash site to investigate the incident.
    “Hopefully they can go there themselves so they can see with their own eyes the wreckage and make a more accurate determination and conclusion,” Foronda said.
    The CAAP earlier reported the six-seater Cessna C206 plane with tail number RPC 1174 took off from Cauayan Airport in Isabela and about half an hour into its flight, the aircraft failed to respond to the CAAP flight monitoring team, as it was supposed to arrive at 2:45 p.m. in Maconacon town.
    It did not reach its destination.
    Isabela PDRRMO said the weather was clear when the plane left Cauayan Airport, but the wind went turbulent around the mountain range of Sierra Madre.
    It backed the report that a witness saw the plane spiraling down in the Sierra Madre mountains.
    The CAAP earlier said that all Cessna planes in the Philippines passed mandatory requirements set by the government before they were allowed to fly.
    The plane was supposed to land at 3 p.m. on Jan. 24, but did not reach its destination.
    Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesperson Eric Apolonio earlier said around 3:17 p.m. that Tuesday, they received a report that a C206 Plane identified as RPC1174 did not arrive at its intended destination at Maconacon Airport.
    The plane departed from Cauayan Airport at 2:15 p.m. and its last contact with the air traffic controller was at 2:19 p.m. when it was within the vicinity of Naguillian Bridge.
The plane was expected to arrive at Maconacon at 2:45 p.m.
    "At 03:15 p.m. communication search was initiated by Cauayan Tower. Due to lack of response from     RPC1174, Alert Level was elevated and search and rescue commenced at around 4:00 p.m." Apolonio said.
    Authorities searched and conducted rescue op for the missing Cessna 206 aircraft until it was found Thursday. -- With wire reports


Comelec junks Cagayan governor’s disqualification

TUGUEGARAO CITY -- Citing lack of jurisdiction, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc dismissed the petition filed to disqualify Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba for his candidacy in the May 11, 2022 gubernatorial elections.
    In an 18-page resolution issued by the Comelec en banc on Monday, March 6, the commission's members dismissed the petition filed by Dr. Ma. Zarah Rose de Guzman-Lara, wife of Cagayan Third District Rep. Joseph Lara, due to lack of jurisdiction.
    Mamba said he was grateful for the Comelec en banc resolution of the case.
    "It is very fair to the 302,025 Cagayanos who voted according to their free will in the last election," Mamba said.
    The decision reversed the initial resolution of the Comelec Second Division that disqualified Gov. Mamba from running in the May 2022 polls.
    The resolution said the Comelec had no authority or jurisdiction to hear and resolve the petition because it was filed after the proclamation of Mamba who won for his third consecutive term as governor.
    It was signed by Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia and Commissioners Socorro Inting, Aimee Ferolino, Marlon Casquejo, Ernesto Ferdinand Maceda Jr., Nelson Celis and Rey Bulay.
    The resolution said that based on existing laws and jurisprudence, any petition for the disqualification of a winning candidate is prohibited once it has been proclaimed.
    "The Commission cannot stress enough that the belated filing of the subject Petition is not merely a procedural lapse. It is jurisdictional infirmity that goes into the authority of the Commission to resolve the issues surrounding (Mamba's) disqualification. No amount of liberality can be used to disenfranchise the voters of Cagayan and frustrate the will of the electorate, especially so when the proceeding is devoid of jurisdiction. To accept a jurisdictional infirmity is to allow a blatant disregard of [the] law," a part of the resolution said.
    The resolution also stated that any criminal aspect of the said case should be referred to the Comelec's law department for preliminary investigation, citing the Lanot case where the Supreme Court emphasized the "separate and independent nature of the criminal and electoral aspects of a disqualification case."
    The Comelec, in a statement, said Mamba may or may not still be disqualified depending upon the outcome of the law department's investigation.
    The resolution issued by the Comelec Second Division that Lara cited the governor's culpability for spending the provincial capitol's public funds allegedly in the guise of pandemic assistance.
    Mamba's lawyers said they got an exception from the Comelec en banc for the provincial government's "No Barangay Left Behind" program, a regular capitol program which also had an exception during the 2019 elections.


Baguio posts 461 cases of abuse against women

BAGUIO CITY -- City Social Welfare and Development Office recorded 461 cases of abuse against women in this summer capital last year.
    CSWDO gender and development focal person Myrna Valencerina said of this number, 379 cases were unfiled and in various stages of counselling while 82 cases have already been filed against perpetrators.
    Topping the list of abuses against women was physical abuse with 310 cases followed by sexual abuse with 68 cases, psychological and emotional abuse at seven cases each and two economic abuse  cases.
    She added most number of victims of these forms of abuses were aged 21-30 years old with 154 cases followed by those in the 31-40 age bracket with 126 cases, 41-50 years old – 87 cases, 20 years old and below – 61 cases, 51-60 years old – 26 cases and 61 years old and above – 7 cases.
    Valencerina said most victims were provided counselling, particularly on psychological and marital crisis as part of city government program to help abused victims recover from difficult experiences from their abusers.
Aside from counselling, she reported the city government was also extending medical, financial and educational assistance not only to victims but members of their families depending on result of evaluation and assessment conducted by social welfare and development officers on the needs of the abused victims and their families.
    From January to March 8, the CSWDO recorded 52 cases of women in difficult circumstances coming from barangays.
    Valencerina said help had been provided to abused women and their families considering abuses did not only affect the victim but also their children.
She said in most cases, victims of the abuse and their abusers, particularly legally married husbands and wives, often reunite with each other after undergoing marital crisis counselling but monitoring is still being done to ensure their improved relationship and prevent repeat of abuses.
She said there were instances when victims and abusers part ways that pave the way for both parties to move on from such strained relationships which allows the CSWDO to extend more assistance to  victims and their children if necessary.
She urged abused women to immediately report these to the CSWDO so that they can be given assistance to allow them to move out of difficult situations that might endanger their lives. -- By Dexter A. See  


New town hall to rise soon in La Trinidad

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – This capital town of Benguet, considered the strawberry capital of the country, will soon have a new municipal hall building.
    Sen. Maria Imelda Josefa "Imee" Marcos led local officials in groundbreaking of the multi-storey building here last week.
    The senator sourced P30 million from the Public Works department to help fund construction of the building aside from the P5 million she provided for construction of a multipurpose center in Barangay Ambiong and another P5 million set aside for a similar infrastructure in nearby Tublay town.
    Sen. Marcos assured La Trinidad residents of future funding to hasten completion of the P184-million modernized municipal hall.
    Earlier, the municipal government earmarked some P12 million to start the building's foundation, followed by another P30 million for the initial phase of the project which was in addition to the P30 million sourced out by Senator Marcos to pursue the construction of the government facility.
    The municipal council passed a resolution requesting Sen. Marcos to provide the P184 million to construct the state-of-the-art municipal building to cater to the town's rapidly increasing population because of migration.
    Mayor Romeo Salda thanked the senator for providing initial funds for the project and her commitment to source additional funds for the second phase.
    "The construction of the building has been programmed to be in phases and that the bulk of the funds for the project will be shouldered by the local government but will also depend on the commitment of the senator to provide additional funds during the second phase of implementation," Salda said.
    He admitted the current municipal hall building can no longer accommodate the number of people having various transactions in different offices, which is why the construction of the new municipal hall will address concerns aside from allowing the public to conveniently deal with the LGU's various offices.
La Trinidad is center of trade, commerce and education in Benguet.


DSWD, Abra LGU give cash to 2.8K solo parents

By Zaldy De Layola 

BANGUED, Abra – Dept. of Social Welfare and Development Sec. Rex Gatchalian reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to look after the protection and well-being of solo parents in the country during his first official visit to Abra last week.
    A DSWD news release issued Thursday said Gatchalian made the commitment Wednesday after leading the distribution of P2,000 in cash assistance each to some 2,850 solo parents from 27 municipalities of the province.
    In his speech, Gatchalian said as former three-term mayor of Valenzuela City, he had seen the work and hardships encountered by solo parents and their need for assistance.
    “They toil to earn a living and at the same time, care for their children, with many having no other support,” he said.
    “Ang panata namin sa DSWD, aalagaan ang solo parents, hindi lamang dito sa Abra, kundi sa buong Pilipinas. Maraming bagong programa ang ilalabas sa darating na buwan (Our vow in DSWD is to take care of solo parents, not just here in Abra, but in the entire Philippines. There will be new programs that will be implemented in the coming months),” the DSWD Secretary said.
    The assistance is in line with the enactment of RA 11861 as amended, which mandates the provision of adequate social protection programs for solo parents from the government.
    Gatchalian lauded Abra for having an organized solo parents group, noting the province’s advanced initiatives for the sector.
He said the DSWD will continue to partner with Abra and other local government units for assistance to the sector, especially with implementation of the new law on solo parents.
Abra Gov. Dominic Valera hosted the activity and welcomed the DSWD delegation headed by Gatchalian, along with Undersecretary Denise Florence Bragas and DSWD Cordillera Administrative Region director Leo Quintilla.
Gatchalian visited DSWD satellite office including the agency’s warehouse in the province to check and ensure availability of food and non-food items in cases of calamities and disasters.
He also visited the Bahay Pag-asa center for children in conflict with the law, which is a facility managed by the LGU.
Gatchalian personally express his appreciation to the staff of DSWD CAR, especially those assigned in Abra for their compassionate service to the locals.
Since his appointment in Jan. 31, Gatchalian had been visiting different facilities of the DSWD across the country in line with his goal of improving these structures to ensure quality public service to the people. -- PNA








Ilocos Norte governor slates China, Hawaii visit to gain investors

By Leilanie Adriano

LAOAG CITY – Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Joseph Manotoc on Wednesday bared his plan to visit China and Hawaii in the US this year to discuss investment opportunities with the two major economies.
    Through the visit, Manotoc said he hopes to entice more investors from China and Hawaii, and deepen cooperation and explore trade, tourism and education exchanges with them.
    As Shandong province in China is a sister province of Ilocos Norte, Manotoc said his personal visit will further strengthen the relationships between the two cities as he intends to encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest and seek opportunities in Ilocos Norte, particularly on agriculture, infrastructure, renewable energy and people-to-people exchanges.    
    During his visit to Ilocos Norte last November, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian praised Ilocos Norte, the hometown of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., for its "marvelous scenery, intelligent and hard-working people, and rich resources.”
    After China, Manotoc said he also plans to visit Hawaii, the home of many Ilocano immigrants including his family when they went into exile.
    “I want to invite our balikbayans back home. If there are doctors out there, maybe they can work with us in our hospitals and the Provincial Health Office,” Manotoc said.
    In support of the President’s earlier pronouncement to make the Philippines a “top investment destination,” Ilocos Norte is currently offering various fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to investors.
    This includes exemptions from paying real property taxes and incentivizing enterprises that engage in environment-friendly practices as well as those that employ locals. The provincial Investment Office likewise provides pre-investment and investor servicing programs to help new and existing businesses.
    Among the services offered is the provision of relevant market information, site visits to potential investment hubs, and assistance in identifying properties for lease.
    The Marcos administration also seeks to open up more opportunities for high-value investments, with a focus on broad-based job creation and expansion of digital infrastructure, research and development.
    The provincial government earlier set up the province's first incubation center located on the second floor of the Tabacalera Food Park, across the provincial capitol building to assist budding micro, small and medium entrepreneurs to develop and improve their business.
    In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, and state-run Mariano Marcos State University, all interested entrepreneurs who want to improve and promote their products to a wider market are welcome at the incubation center that is equipped with office tables, and computers with internet.
    It also serves as a one-stop shop for business-to-business transactions and establishing linkages. -- PNA


Transport strike failed in Region 2, says LTO

By Leander C. Domingo

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya -- The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said on Monday that the majority of the transportation groups in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) did not participate in the week-long nationwide transport strike.
    According to LTFRB-2 regional director Edward Cabase, drivers and operators of public utility vehicles (PUV) continued to ply their routes on Monday.
    Cabase said 10 transport groups in Cagayan province, nine in Isabela, three in Quirino and three in Nueva Vizcaya did not join the strike.
    Cabase also said they have been gathering information and monitoring the status of the transport strike in coordination with local government units, the Philippine National Police, the media, and other transport stakeholders.
    "Together with the enforcement team, we are monitoring Nueva Vizcaya, which is the gateway to Region 2, for the possible entry of transport groups initiating a strike in the region," he said.
    The provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Batanes comprise Region 2.
    "Fortunately, as of today, March 6, 2023, the public utility vehicle (PUV) operations are normal and there is no suspension of classes in Region 2," the LTFRB-2 said.
    Cabase said the majority of the jeepney drivers in Nueva Vizcaya said that they cannot afford to join the strike since they make enough money to cover their daily expenses.
    Jeepney drivers are on nationwide strike in protest of the implementation of the PUV Modernization Program.
    Meanwhile, the LTFRB-2 with the assistance of transport groups has prepositioned modernize d and Omnibus Franchising Guidelines-compliant units that will offer free rides should there be insufficient public transport supply.


Land conversion threatens Trinidad strawberry trade

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Production of quality strawberries in this capital town is threatened by land conversion projects amid efforts to save the lucrative industry, municipal officials said
    Municipal agriculturist Nida Organo said if not for the vast tract of land owned by the State-run Benguet State University (BSU) for institutional use, the strawberry production in the municipality would have been affected because of the rapid conversion of agricultural lands to commercial areas.
    Aside from this, she said the Covid-19 pandemic had significant impact on the production of strawberries making many farmers lose their source of livelihood.
    The pre-pandemic production of 11.44 metric tons of strawberries in 2020 dropped to more than seven MT in 2021 before bouncing back to 11.94 MT last year.
    Organo said the proposed elevated strawberry production area is highly recommended for farmers' benefit because of the experienced better production and lesser exposure to pests and diseases, especially since the said farm is prone to flooding during the rainy season.
    Last year, the municipal government earmarked some P1.27 million from the annual budget of the municipal agriculture office to help in the sustainable development and improvement of strawberry production in the municipality, where around P500,000 had been allocated for the importation of virus-free strawberry runners to replace the existing ones.
    Government records bared there are more than 52 hectares of land in different parts of the municipality being cultivated for strawberry production, where some 37 hectares are said to be within the property of the BSU while some 15 hectares are situated in elevated villages in the locality.
At present, the local government, in close coordination with strawberry farmers, is experimenting with production of the Snow White strawberry variety to serve as an alternative while awaiting the new batch of virus-free strawberry runners.
She said there was an increasing number of strawberry farmers who producing the white strawberry variety, which is similar in taste with the red variety.
However, the buying price of the white strawberry variety is P1,000 per kilo, which is more expensive than the red variety, which is around P300 to 400 per kilo during peak production season.
Residents and visitors may pick strawberries in assigned plantations.


Autonomy pushed in Cordi DILG, councilors, vice mayors leagues gab

CLARK, Pampanga — Sen. Francis Tolentino urged Cordillera legislators and Cordillerans to continue lobbying with Congress for passage of an autonomy bill so the upland region would get what it has been longing for.
    The genuine aspiration of the Cordillerans for genuine autonomy is rooted on the right to self-determination of the people fueled by a long history of struggle for the recognition of their rights.
    The region. Tolentino said, serves as foundation upon wherein people of Cordillera shall be empowered to pursue sustainable and inclusive growth, through the management, protection and development of their natural and human resources, and the promotion of the rights and culture of the Cordillera people.
    On July 15, 1987, President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order 220 which created the Cordillera Administrative Region as a transitory coordinating agency in preparation for autonomy.
    Tolentino made this pitch as speaker of orientation conference by the Dept. of the Interior and Local Government, in collaboration with the Philippine Councilors League and Vice Mayors League of the Philippines, both Cordillera Administrative Region chapters during 3-day newly elected officials (NEO) orientation course to enable Cordillera legislators and public servants to explore strategies to make LGU services and performance better to boost living condition of their constituents.
    Tolentino, one of speakers urged local legislators to continue to serve as prime leaders and exemplars of good and participatory governance.
    "As prime leaders, you are the cream of the crop of public service. Be excellent leaders in discharging your responsibilities and fulfilling your mandates. Let it be a reminder that, as public servants, you must always be guided by the finest principles of public administration, notably altruism, loyalty, dedication, excellence, integrity, responsiveness, and accountability," he said.
    Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, also a speaker, urged local legislators and other functionaries to continue providing quality services in accordance with good governance principles.
    “Public servants should embrace leadership that is inclusive, and non-violence through actions, and with courage to speak and act.”
    DILG CAR assistant regional director Ruperto Maribbay, Jr., said the “NEO orientation served as avenue for the local legislators to learn, reflect, and share their valuable insights and learning discoveries with their fellow leaders, to forge ties with their partners in the local government sector, and to build a strong network among themselves – a community of development co-creators.”  
    He added the orientation will help local legislators in advancing their LGUs’ capacities while adapting transformational leadership approaches based on values and ethical standards.
    The activity served as a venue for local officials to be oriented on laws and affecting local legislation that will aid in formulation of their legislative proposals and provide opportunity to establish linkage between the LGUs and national government agencies. 
    Resource people from partner agencies were invited to share their knowledge on the topics that will help local officials perform their duties.
    Intergovernmental relations and local executive-legislative relations, local legislative awards and seal of good local and administrative governance, sanggunian quasi-judicial functions, parliamentary procedures for local legislators, and development legislation.
    Topics included Sanggunian as driver for development and ABCs on effective local legislation.
    The event was attended by 248 officials including city/municipal vice mayors, sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang bayan, LNB presidents, SK presidents, SB secretaries and other LGU representatives.


Tourists’ congestion fee pushed in Baguio

By Aldwin Quitasol

BAGUIO CITY — A Baguio City councilor pushed for a measure to make tourists with vehicles pay before entering the city.
Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. said the number of vehicles entering the Summer Capital of the Philippines is adding to the traffic woes of the city.
    Yangot sought to pass an ordinance imposing a congestion fee on all tourists bringing their private vehicles here.
    Yangot said all visiting vehicle owners or drivers should pay P50 upon entry to the city.
    Baguio residents will be exempted from paying the congestion fee.
    The councilman said one of amendments he might introduce in the later version of the proposal is the exemption of citizens from the La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay areas or even from all parts of the Cordillera.
He added the measure aimed to help reduce worsening traffic problem in the city. Yangot said traffic was one of the biggest headaches of the city and imposing congestion fee was one way to regulate entry of visitor cars to the city.
    Yangot pushed that all collected fees shall be deposited in a trust fund to be used for programs and activities to mitigate traffic congestion in the city.
    The City Treasury Office shall be tasked to formulate guidelines and to monitor implementation of the ordinance.



Baguio gov’t gets land title over areas in Burnham Park

By Jordan G. Habbiling

BAGUIO CITY -- Certain areas in Burnham park are now covered by a title in the name of the City Government of Baguio.
    This was revealed by City General Services Officer Eugene Buyuccan to the Baguio City Council during the regular session last March 8.
    The recently titled lot is referred to as Burnham Lot 1 with a total area of 182,045 sqm.
    This lot covers the picnic grove, skating rink, the parking area fronting Tiong San Harrison, City Environment and Parks Management Extension Office, city library, Burnham lake, children’s park, orchidarium, bicycle area, rose garden, Melvin     Jones grandstand, food stalls, Igorot garden, and Ibaloi park.
    The said title called Original Certificate of Title No. 2023000017 was  issued on March 3, 2023.
    After successfully acquiring a title for Burnham Lot 1, the city government is now pursuing the titling of Burnham Park Lot 6 which covers portions of the public swimming pool and Lions club and Pine Trees of the World with an area of 10,021 sqm.
    These land titling initiatives were started by the former administration under then Mayor Mauricio Domogan being completed by the current administration.
    Burnham Park is a historic urban park in the city whose area is covered by Proclamation no. 64, s. 1925 which established the Burnham Park Reservation intended for park purposes.
The city government has been the administrator of Burnham Park since February 10, 1995 pursuant to Executive Order No. 244 issued by then President Fidel Ramos. Prior to this, the park was under the care of the Philippine Tourism Authority. The full control and further development of the same was finally transferred to the city government on January 10, 2008 when then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 695.
Some members of the city council lauded efforts of the executive department in titling Burnham Park in the name of the city government.
However, questions whether this move was legal were raised during the council forum last March 8.
Councilor Mylen Yaranon asked whether a presidential proclamation can be canceled by the issuance of a land title, claiming that OCT No. 1 which was issued in 1910 and also covers certain portions of Burnham Park was being questioned during the term of his late father, then Mayor Braulio Yaranon.
Buyuccan said OCT No. 1 which was issued in 1910 does not supersede Proclamation no. 64 which was issued in 1925 since the former precedes the latter.
He added that the acquisition of a title over areas within Burnham Park “does not intend to cancel” Proclamation no. 64, s. 1925 as the proclamation identifies the use of an area while a title indicates who owns it.
On the same day, the city council approved the first annual supplemental investment program for 2023 in the amount of P250 million which includes a proposed additional fund (P2 million) for the titling of other areas in Burnham Park and other areas outside Burnham Park that are being utilized by the city government. 
Although joining the other council members in lauding the efforts of the executive department, Yaranon excluded herself from the council’s move to approve the proposed additional fund for the titling of areas in Burnham Park as she does “not want to be included in whatever future case filed against the city government.”



Livestock market pushed to decongest Baguio City central business district

By Jordan G. Habbiling

BAGUIO CITY -- The City Veterinary and Agriculture Office urged the City Council March 6 to approve proposal to construct a state-of-the-art livestock market here in Barangay Dontogan.
    The proposed project worth P108 million was presented by CVAO senior agriculturist Marcy Tabelin and city veterinarian Siladro Bested. The present livestock market is located in the slaughterhouse compound along Magsaysay Ave. surrounded by residential houses, bus terminals, and business establishments.
    Once the livestock market is relocated to the proposed site in Dontogan Barangay, the slaughterhouse compound will be “decongested,” helping depopulate the city center.
    The area once occupied by the livestock market will be utilized for agricultural projects such as vegetable and fruit trees seedling production.
    Having 65 stalls that can accommodate 7,000 live animals, the new livestock market being proposed will have separate sections to minimize cross exposure to animal diseases.
    The structure is designed for easy cleaning and disinfection and has its own drainage system and a sewage treatment plant.
    To keep the livestock safe from animal diseases, biosecurity control measures will be undertaken for all live animals entering the livestock market. 
    The proposed aquaponic system will be an additional component of the project for benchmarking purposes and to be used for teaching the residents in the city who want to venture into aquaponics and hydroponics farming and urban agriculture.
According to the cost benefit analysis and feasibility study conducted by the City Budget Office, the proposed livestock market is expected to generate P72 million in its first five years of operation from all its revenue streams. The study also claims that the return of investment is at 22.7%, resulting in the recovery of investment P107 million within 10 years and seven months. 
The proposed livestock market will also make native pigs and chickens accessible, benefitting residents who conduct cultural practices and festivities.
Bested said the proposed livestock market will be constructed simultaneously with the proposed abattoir.
The proposed livestock market will be funded by the city government while the construction of the proposed abattoir will be through public-private partnership (PPP). 
Bested told the council stall owners in the current livestock market will not be displaced and more individuals will be accommodated since the new livestock market will have more stalls.
Meanwhile, Councilor Michael Lawana suggested that the city government should come up with a suggested retail price (SRP) of live animals and strict monitoring of the SRP in the livestock market to avoid overpricing.
On the same day, the city council approved the first annual supplemental investment program for 2023 in the amount of P250 million which includes the proposed fund for the construction of the modernized livestock market.


7 Cordi lady PNP officers given medals

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet -- Seven female police officers from   Cordillera Philippine National Police units for “ remarkable contributions in the field of public service,” here at the regional PNP headquarters March 6.
    As part of the Women’s Month ceremony, guest of honor and speaker, regional director Helen R. Tibaldo of the Philippine Information Agency led awarding of officers assisted by Brig. Gen. Mafelino A. Bazar, regional police director and command group.
    Medalya ng Kagalingan (PNP medal of merit) was given to Capt. Ginabel Dao-inon and MSg. Jenilyn Gaboy of Apayao Police Provincial Office for  implementation of search warrant that resulted in arrest of a drug personality in Apayao.
    Medalya ng Papuri (commendation medal) was given to Lt. Col. Domingo Terrado and SSg Grail Ann Alipio of Benguet PPO for successful 2-day theoretical driving course for 74 participants in this camp Jan. 31 to Feb. 1.
    Medalya ng Ugnayang Pampulisya (PNP relations medal) is presented to Capt. Maricris Melchor and SMS Junia L Talingdan of Abra PPO for providing “pangkabuhayan” package to a solo parent/drug surrenderee in Danglas, Abra.
    Same award was given to CPl Ardayle Callueng of the Regional Personnel and Records Management Division for celebrating her birthday by sharing food packs, hygiene kits, and goodies bags with 19 day-care pupils of Barangay Fairview Day Care Center, Baguio City.


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