BWD denies folks’ plea for water in Buyog watershed

>> Tuesday, November 29, 2022

By Jordan G. Habbiling

BAGUIO CITY -- The Baguio Water District said it could not grant the request of Barangay Pinget residents for a water service connection as their structures are within the Buyog Watershed Forest Reserve.
    Earlier, Pablo Pawi, punong barangay of Pinget, wrote to the city council to ask for help with their appeal for a water service connection.
    Attached in the letter was a list of 25 residents in Pinget not serviced by the BWD. 
    In a forum with the Baguio City Council Nov. 21, lawyer Chanell Dolor de Guzman, BWD senior corporate counsel, said Proclamation No. 93, s. 1992 which established the Buyog Watershed established the entire area from entry sale, disposition, or settlement.
    “Inasmuch as we understand the predicament of the petitioners considering that, indeed, water is a basic human right, the BWD’s hands are tied by restrictions due to the fact that we have to protect the water sources therein,” de Guzman said.
    City council members said aside from Proclamation No. 93, s. 1992, Section f of Ordinance 67-2009 prohibits installation of electric and water supply to structures that are “within government reservations, school areas, national and forest reservations, duly identified watershed areas, road right-of-ways and on dangerous areas as identified by the proper government agency.”
    According to her, a Certificate of Ancestral Land Claim (CALC) issued by the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is not recognized as a basis for approving an application for a water service application since the ordinance does not explicitly say so.
    De Guzman claimed the BWD had not granted any application for structures situated within forest and watershed reservations since the passage of the ordinance.
    She added no exemption is given to any applicant residing within a reservation so as not to create any precedent. 
    Based on a DENR-CAR survey as relayed by de Guzman, of the 20 hectares delineated for the Buyog Watershed, 12 hectares had already been occupied by settlers while the remaining 7.92 hectares is still forested. 
    The city council referred the matter to its committee on public utilities, transportation and traffic legislation for legislative action.

Read more...

Baguio Rep Go files House bill granting franchise to Beneco

BAGUIO CITY – Rep.  Mark Go filed Nov. 15, House Bill 6145 “Act granting a legislative franchise to Benguet Electric Cooperative to construct, install, establish, operate and maintain a generation and distribution system for the conveyance of electric power to the end users in all the municipalities of the Province of Benguet and Baguio City.”
    Beneco’s 50 years franchise to operate as an electric distribution utility (DU) was granted March 20, 1978 will end by March 20, 2028.
    “Granting a legislative franchise to Beneco will ensure continuous supply and delivery of affordable, efficient, and safe electric power to the people of Baguio City and Benguet Province,” Go said in recognition of the efficiency of Beneco in providing stable, safe, and affordable power to its consumers.
    The generation cost of Beneco over the years has been acknowledged as the cheapest for on-grid ECs.
    This was due to the foresight of Beneco in acknowledging the dire need to enter into a bilateral power supply contract with an independent power producer (IPP) in 2003, according to Rep. Go. Beneco was one of the first, if not the first EC to enter into a bilateral power supply contract with an IPP right after the passage of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) in 2001.
    Most ECs then were still signing transition supply contracts with the National Power Corporation (NPC).
Beneco consumers continue to enjoy comparatively lower generation cost with the P5.73/kWh interim price contract negotiated by the management led by general manager Melchor Licoben and the board of directors, when the price of coal skyrocketed earlier this year.
    During the Oct. 29, 2022 culminating program of Beneco’s month-long celebration of its Oct. 5 founding anniversary, Go announced his promise to file the bill of franchise renewal the soonest, saying “this is very important in ensuring that we will not be confronted with the mess that has been created by another agency.”
    His statement was in reference to the “overreach and abuse of authority” by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) when it disregarded the Beneco board’s appointment of Licoben as Beneco general manager.
    NEA rules stipulated that it can only impose its step in rights when an electric cooperative is ailing.
Beneco being a triple A category EC is not ailing.
    Go’s assurance to file the bill was made before the member-consumer-wwners (MCOs), local government units leaders, civic society representatives in Baguio-Benguet and Beneco employees who attended the program.—LSI

Read more...

N. Vizcaya NIA worker sells marijuana; held

By Liezle Basa Inigo

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – An employee of National Irrigation Administration was arrested for selling dried marijuana leaves with fruiting tops to an anti-narcotics agent in Barangay Don Tomas Maddela here on Monday, Nov. 21.
    Arrested by joint personnel of Bayombong police and the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit during a buy-bust operation was Earl Balmes, 30, a resident of Brgy., Don Tomas Maddela, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.
    He was arrested after selling two pieces of small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing dried marijuana leaves with fruiting tops to a PDEU agent acting as a buyer during a buy-bust.
    Raiders found in his possession the buy-bust money, yellow paper containing suspected dried marijuana leaves, small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing dried marijuana leaves and a mobile phone.
    The suspect and confiscated items were brought to Bayombong Police for documentation and proper disposition.

Read more...

Charges filed vs vendor in Sagada for child’s murder

By Gina Dizon

SAGADA, Mountain Province – Murder charges were filed at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office against accused Wilbur B. Timpac for the death of a 12-year-old special child at the market compound here.
    The accused, a vendor at the public market is now detained at the municipal jail. CCTV footage from the Sagada Police Station revealed the child was thrown by Timpac down a cemented pavement some five meters from an elevated area at 6:20 p.m. on Nov. 17.
    Earlier, charges of physical injuries were filed against the accused with initial police findings of sustained abrasions on the victim’s back, hematoma back of her head and swelled lips.
    The victim was rushed to St. Theodore’s Hospital and later transferred to Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital where she died Nov. 18 at 6:18 p.m.
    The child’s death certificate revealed mauling as an antecedent cause and severe traumatic brain injury as direct cause.
    The victim's mother is from Tulgao, Tinglayan Kalinga while her father is from Sagada.
    The family established residence here. 
    Police investigation is ongoing. 

Read more...

From 128 to 34: Merging of Baguio b’gays to be set in public hearing

By Jordan G. Habbiling

BAGUIO CITY -- The City Council has approved on first reading a proposed ordinance seeking to merge the 128 barangays of Baguio City to 34 barangays, subject to the limitations, requisites, and plebiscite requirements prescribed by the Local Government Code of 1191 or Republic Act No. 7160.
    Authored by all members of the Baguio City Council, the proposed ordinance stated that, prior to the conduct of a plebiscite for the ratification of the merging of the barangays, an information and education campaign as well as a series public consultation shall take place to encourage discussions among stakeholders and provide an avenue for the public to express their opinion.
    Barangays to be merged shall be determined accordingly during the public consultation.
    A special committee shall be created consisting of the city mayor or their representative as the chairman and the city vice mayor or their representative as the co-chairman with the President of the Liga ng mga Barangay, President of the Federation of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation, barangay district coordinators, city assessor, city legal officer, city planning and development coordinator, and representative of the Commission on Elections- Cordillera Administrative Region or their representative as members.
    The special committee shall recommend and submit to the Baguio City Council the final draft of the plan for the merging of the barangays, indicating the reduced number of the 128 barangays and their corresponding names.     Furthermore, it shall formulate guidelines for the information and education campaign and the public consultation.
    It is also the task of the committee to ensure that the merging of the barangays is compliant with the requirements prescribed by the Local Government Code of 1991. It shall see to it that the merging process shall not reduce the income, population, or land area of a barangay to less than the minimum requirements set forth by the Code and that the income classification shall not fall below what is required.
    For the annual honorarium of barangay officials of the 34 barangays, the proposed ordinance indicates that each punong barangay shall receive Salary Grade 14 or P32,321.00 per month and that sangguniang barangay members, barangay secretaries, and barangay treasurers shall receive Salary Grade 10 or P22,190.00 per month. Furthermore, barangay tanods and members of the Lupong Tagapamayapa shall receive P1,000.00 per month as their honorarium. 
    The total amount spent for the annual salaries and honorariums of barangay officials shall be P120,042,168.00 with savings of P335,411,940.00.
    The Commission on Elections shall assist the City Government of Baguio in promulgating the rules and regulations to govern the conduct of a plebiscite. 
    The proposed ordinance has been referred to the city council’s Committee on Ethics, Governmental Affairs, and Personnel for review.
    In her endorsement letter dated 17 October 2022, Department of the Interior Local Government City Director Millicent Carino that the total National Tax Allotment (NTA) of the 128 barangays amounting to P64,106,743.00 would be recomputed to comprise the NTA of the 34, 36, or 40 merged barangays.
    “We are optimistic that the newly merged barangays will receive a comparable share from the NTA considering that the total number of the barangays nationwide that will be sharing the NTA will be reduced from P41,935 to P41,846, P41,842, 41, 840 respectively (40, 36, and 34 options),” Carino stated in her letter.
    She said savings may come from the reduced cost of personal services considering the decrease in the number of barangays and that these savings may be used to implement new projects, programs, and activities of the barangays to augment their budgetary allocation.
    The city director said that the amalgamation of the barangays will result in a “more viable, sustainable, and efficient” management of barangay operations.  

Read more...

Catriona Gray experiences Ilocos Norte

MISS UNIVERSE 2018 Catriona Gray visits Ilocos Norte last week to experience  Ilokano way of life and explore attractions of the province for her vlog series “Raise Your Flag.” -- Edison Justin B. Deus / PGIN-CMO


By Edison Justin B. Deus

LAOAG CITY -- Miss Universe 2018 titleholder Catriona Gray visited Ilocos Norte Nov. 11 to 14  to experience the Ilokano way of life and explore attractions of the province for her vlog series "Raise Your Flag."
    Hosting her were the provincial government of Ilocos Norte’s Tourism Office and Communications and Media Office, local government units and homegrown accommodations and food establishments that served as sponsors.
    The "Raise Your Flag" team was welcomed by Batac City officials where Gray and Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc learned to make and cook the city’s world-famous empanada.
    As a wartime invention, this famous delicacy gives insights into the values of the Ilokano people, as well as their capacity to innovate.
    “Raise Your Flag IlocosNorte has kicked off. Ilocos has long been on my bucket list to feature for my Raise Your Flag series at hindi ito yung first time ko sa region, pero magiging first time ko to truly immerse myself in the culture, traditions, sights and foods of the North," she said in her post.
    The first day of Gray’s visit to the province immediately trended on social media as it sparked a hilarious online debate after she was spotted eating the empanada with ketchup.
    Many netizens argued the snack was better paired with sukang Iloko, a locally produced vinegar.
Gray also visited Mrs. Magdalena Gamayo, a master weaver and “national living treasure,” at the Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan Cultural Center in Pinili town.
    "I don’t find myself welling up with tears for many things. But watching Nana Magdalena sitting at her loom, at the graceful age of 98, naiiyak ako."
    Her hands have literally woven tradition...the hands of a national living treasure. I'm so honored to have met her and witnessed her craft with my own eyes," Gray said.
    Throughout her stay, she wore dresses made by local designers using inabel, Ilocos Norte’s handwoven heritage fabric.
    "Raise Your Flag" also featured the UNESCO World Heritage site of St. Augustine’s Church, the Paseo de Paoay, and the Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes in Paoay town. In addition, the Bangui Wind Farm and the Kaangrian Falls in Burgos were also promoted.
    The coast of Barangay Saud in Pagudpud town will be featured in the series.
    In April 2021, it was listed in the "25 Most beautiful beaches in the world" by the Travel and Leisure International magazine for "its white sand which pitches gradually into the clear-as-glass water, like a real-world example of a zero-entry swimming pool."
    While in said town, Ms. Gray also visited DelMar Shellcrafts Multi-purpose Cooperative, which specializes in handicrafts made by women in the community.
    Anticipate the premiere of the episode of "Raise Your Flag," featuring the province of Ilocos Norte, on Gray's official YouTube channel.

Read more...

3 Baguio cops sacked over US Navy man’s complaint

BAGUIO CITY — Three police officers were relieved from their posts while an entertainment bar was ordered closed in connection with a complaint filed against them by a US Navy serviceman.
    Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong earlier ordered an investigation into the complaint of US Navy officer Michelot Joseph, who said he was prevented from entering the bar due to his color and nationality.
    Joseph expressed dismay over how the three officers of the Baguio City police Station 3 handled his complaint against the bar management.
    City permits and licensing officer Allan Abayao said the establishment was ordered to stop operating as a bar on Oct. 24.
    Abayao said the bar was ordered to refrain from dispensing liquor and comply with its business permit to operate only as a restaurant.
    The bar operators apologized to Joseph, who accepted it and thanked Magalong and the city police for addressing his complaint.
    In a memorandum, Col. Francis Bulwayan, acting city police chief, directed his men to respect diversity as the city is a premier tourist destination.        

Read more...

Probe pushed on P2.5-B Mt Province rock-netting

>> Sunday, November 27, 2022

By Gina Dizon

BONTOC, Mountain Province -- Instead of allotting P2.5 billion public funds for rock-netting projects better reprogram this amount for services that people need.
    Petitioners Peter Chumawin Jr and engineer Medel Flores of the Upland Lowland Monitoring Movement and Juniper Dominguez of Pro-Volunteers Against Corruption wrote Chairman Jose Calida of the Commission on Audit and Sec. Manuel Bonoan of the Dept. of Public Works and Highways to investigate and reprogram the P2.5 billion rock-netting projects programmed along Junction Talubin-Barlig- Natonin-Paracelis of Mountain Province.  
Petitioners called on Calida and Bonoan to suspend four projects along the junction Talubin- Barlig- Natonin-Paracelis as “there are gaps to be widened, concreted and improved to attain a safe and reliable road system.”
The P2.5 billion rock-netting projects are meant to attain a “safe and reliable national road system”.  
    Petitioner Dominguez noted an old engineering method called shotcreting was proven to be effective and long lasting along along Naguilian Road, Marcos Highway and Halsema Highway “compared to modified and corrupted rock-netting projects   which collapsed halfway during implementation or just after completion.”
    “Such spending of government funds manifests clear indifference to people’s priority needs”, petitioners stated in their complaint.
    Instead of rock-netting, petitioners cited widening and concreting of gaps from Junction Talubin-Barlig- Natonin- Paracelis, restoration of all road cuts, repair of numerous damage road pavements, and construction of concrete barriers in all dangerous curves along said route.
    “There was no factual and actual sight survey to ascertain what is needed in this road section”, the petitioners noted.
    Instead, construction of farm to market roads, powered deep well irrigation systems, solar powered deep well potable water systems and solar powered lamps apart from the building of Barlig emergency hospital was forwarded by petitioners.  
    In a separate letter to DBM Secretary Tina Rose Canda, Bishop Valentin Dimoc of Bontoc-Lagawe Development and Social Action Center said high impact projects as integrated irrigation projects in Paracelis, community potable water systems, barangay farm to market roads, and support infrastructure and medical equipment for hospitals was identified.     
    “I hope these development perspectives and proposals are considered in order to help people recover economically from the impact of the pandemic,” Bishop Demo said.
    Petitioners Chumawin, Flores and Dominguez also alleged that the project won by Phesco Inc was fixed and simulated over the losing bidder EGB Construction/Cabugiasan Builders (JV). Bidder EGB Construction/Cabugiasan Builders filed a motion for reconsideration for being disqualified.
    Said petitioner letter was also forwarded to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, committee chairman on public works Sen. Bong Revilla, finance committee chairman Senator Sonny Angara, Sen. Francis Tolentino of the Senate blue ribbon committee, Rep. Rodante Marcoleta of Party List SAGIP, DWPH Undersecretary Maximo Carvajal, DPWH regional director Khadaffy Tanngol and COA regional director Cecilia Ancheta.
 

Read more...

Adivay Greetings

 




Read more...

Pasalubong makers hit over labels

By Aileen P. Refuerzo 

BAGUIO CITY -- The city government market division, Dept. of Trade and Industry Baguio-Benguet and Food and Drug Administration have urged resellers in the city not to patronize pasalubong products of manufacturers who continue to violate rules on proper labeling.
    City Market Superintendent Ceasar Emilio said this will hopefully compel these producers to comply with the labeling requirements which are one method to ensure consumer protection.
    The three offices spearheaded the conduct of an information-education-communication (IEC) program on proper labeling and other salient provisions of Republic Act No. 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines attended by more than 10 Baguio-based manufacturers and more than 30 market stallholders who sell pasalubong products last Nov. 18 at the city public market.
    Manufacturers who are still not compliant with the labeling requirements were strongly urged to comply while those whose products have proper labels but with inadequate details were asked to upgrade their labels to supply missing information like specific addresses, net weights and others.
    The three agencies said they will continue to monitor resellers to ensure that no products with improper labels will be sold.
    Recently, two stalls at the city market were issued notices of violation for selling pasalubong products while several others were made to pull out items that have improper labels in an operation conducted jointly by the three agencies.
    Consumers may report erring manufacturers or resellers to DTI Baguio-Benguet Consumer Protection Division under Ralph Altiyen at 09178886963.
    Improper labeling constitutes violation of Republic Act No. 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines particularly Articles 77-79 on minimum labeling requirements, the Philippine product standard mark and additional labeling and packaging requirements, respectively.
 

Read more...

DSWD’s 'Balik Probinsiya' pays off for ex-family driver


VILLAVICIOSA, Abra -- Jensen Afos, 32, used to receive a fixed salary as family driver in Baguio City but when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, his family decided to avail of the Balik Probinsiya (Back to the province) program of government.
    Afos said their application was approved in 2020, making them a part of the first batch of returnees.
He shared his "journey" with the media at the sidelines of a partnership forum organized recently by the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera Kalahi CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay) at his residence here.
    According to Afos, he and his wife used the assistance from the Balik Probinsiya program to start hog-raising.
    "I started with 10 piglets and was able to sell them after several months. From the proceeds, I bought 11 piglets, which I also sold upon their maturity. Now I am having a new set of piglets for the third batch," he said in Ilocano.
    Afos added that the money from sales of the piglets was not just used for the repurchase of the animals but also for their daily needs and a tricycle.
    "I think we are in a better condition now and I can probably make my wife (a migrant worker abroad) come home for good when she returns for a vacation here because we can already survive with the assistance that we received from the government," he said as he pointed to the pigs inside their pen.
    The Afos family is composed of three children, one of them in daycare and the older ones are in Grade1 and Grade 2 whom Jensen cares for alone while his wife works overseas.
    The family is among the four Balik Probinsiya beneficiaries in this town.
    Evelyn Vergara, municipal social welfare and development officer of Villaviciosa, in a separate interview, said the other beneficiaries opted to have other livelihood activities like goat-raising and running a sari-sari (variety) store business.
    A total of 222 families from the Cordillera opted to return to the province with the help of the government to make them start a new life outside the cities.
    Aside from Jensen and his family, Fernando and Cecil Micua, married for 22 years and now permanent residents of Danglas, Abra, said, "Hindi na namin alam ang dates kasi wala na kaming hinihintay na darating na sahod ng akinse at katapusan, pero wala na rin kaming inaabangan na date sa pagbabayad ng renta ng bahay at tubig (I don't even know the dates anymore because we are not looking forward to the15th and 30th of the month but we are not also waiting for those dates to pay the rent and for basic services)."
    Cecil, a native of Agusan del Sur who married Fernando, a former security officer in Metro Manila, said, "Kahit pa malaki ang sahod noon, 'pag lumabas ka nang bahay, wala ng sukli ang pera mo (No matter how big your income is, upon going out of the house, you are left with nothing)."
    She also said at specific dates of the month, they have to prepare P4,000 for house rent; an average of P1,400 for water; and P1,300 for electricity, leaving them empty-handed and without a centavo of savings despite the regular monthly wage.
    When the pandemic came, according to Cecil, their lives in the city became a gamble for survival.
    Taking a chance with the Balik Probinsiya program and being promised assistance that they were not sure they would receive, the couple hopped on the bus and traveled to Abra, tagging along their only son who was 11 years old.
    The Balik Probinsiya team sent off the family from the Quirino Grandstand on Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
    Upon arrival of the bus at Bangued, the capital town of the province, the family was fetched by the local government of Danglas that initially gave them a financial assistance of P35,000 as a transitory support package from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for their basic needs.
    Fernando and Cecil used a fraction of the money to buy a lot for a house.
    Another P50,000 was handed by the DSWD as a livelihood fund, which the couple used to buy piglets that they raised and later sold.
    The Department of Agriculture also assisted in providing two mature pigs and feeds, which gave them a total of 12 heads.
    The family was also given relocation assistance and transitory housing assistance.
    Cecil also shared that they butchered one of the grown pigs and served half of it for her birthday, and slowly consumed the other half for food.
    She said they are waiting for permanent housing support with their family staying in Abra for good.
    Cecil added that the more important reason behind their decision to avail of the Balik Probinsiya program is the welfare of their son.
    "I was starting to lose control of my son, which worried us and by moving to the province, we knew we would be a better place to raise our son," she said.
    Christopher Daoayen, social work officer of the DSWD in the Cordillera region who is in charge of the program, said more than 200 individuals had decided to go back home as of Oct. 14, 2022. – Dexter See

Read more...

DSWD Programs





 

Read more...

‘Enchanting Baguio Christmas’ events on; tourist arrivals up

‘CHRISTMAS VILLAGE’ -- The newly refurbished Botanical Garden added a new feature through its “Christmas Around the World” theme for the holiday season. The display is now  open to the public starting 8 p.m. until midnight. --  PIO-Baguio



By Julie G. Fianza

BAGUIO CITY -- After the successful opening of the Baguio Botanical Garden’s spectacular night time “Christmas Around the World,” activities are expected to bring in more locals and visitors in other venues, including Session road, different areas of Burnham Park and Malcolm Square.
    Business establishments are expected to join in the merry making with decorations in white and yellow, with snowflakes, specially along the city’s main road. The decorations are done to emphasize the cool Baguio climate, it was noted by City Planning and Development Officer architect Donna Rillera-Tabangin during the regular management committee meeting.    
    According to City Tourism Aloysius Mapalo, tourists have been flocking to the city especially on weekends, thus pre-pandemic visitors’ numbers have been reached.
    Locals are expected to join in the activities, specially the countdown and lighting of the City Christmas tree and mandala-inspired parol and lights along session road, with city officials and other luminaries.
    A program before sunset serves as a prelude to the lighting of the tree, Engr. Mapalo said.
    Alongside shall be the long-awaited, revived after a two-year absence, the  Saint Louis University (SLU) lantern parade, from Session road to Melvin Jones field. Detailed preparations have also been done by SLU for a lantern performance after the parade.
    A fireworks display is expected from SM Baguio within the same time frame.
    On Dec. 3, a “Cool Christmas at the Rose Garden” featuring a Christmas-themed food truck showcase, Christmas installations, goodies, open mic street busking and artists’ performances opens.
    Also on Dec. 3, The Nutcracker parade and ballet concert along Session road up to Melvin Jones; and the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) silent drill kicks off, expectedly for a jam-packed street audience.
    For the whole month of December, thematic Sundays apply. On Dec. 4, there shall be an Architects Heritage Deco and information historical board for six buildings along Session Road. According to City Tourism Mapalo, it shall be a recreation of old Baguio, circa 1900 to 1940s.
    On Dec. 11, old Volkswagen cars shall be dressed up as Christmas decors.
    On Dec. 18, pets take center stage along the main street, with buskers and chalk art production.
    On New Year’s eve, a countdown ensues with centralized fireworks to welcome 2023.
    All activities and installations are done with the City Planning and Development Office coordinating with City Building and Architects Office (CBAO), City Tourism and Special Events Office (CTSEO) and City 

Read more...

Omicron still dominant Covid variant in Baguio


BAGUIO CITY -- Omicron remains the dominant Covid-19 variant of concern in the Summer Capital, causing 70 percent of total infections, according to a local health official.
    This was revealed by Dr. Celia Flor Brillantes, City Health Services Office deputy head during the regular management committee meeting of city officials on November 22, led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong at City Hall.
    She said the Delta variant causes 17 percent of Covid-19 infections; Alpha, 9 percent; and Beta variant, infecting 4 percent of the local population, so far.
    Meanwhile, Brillantes said as of Nov. 21, 2022, the city had an anti-Covid vaccine supply totalling 24,229 jabs but warned that most of these will be expiring soon.
    Of the total, she added, the city has 11,650 Pfizer vaccines for 5 to 11 years old and 2,700 for 12 years old and above.
    Both batches will expire at the end of the month, Brillantes said.
    The city's supply of Sinovac vaccines amounting to 9,879 jabs, she added, will be expiring on September 23 next year.

 

Read more...

Council to reduce distance of bars to schools, hospitals

By Jordan G. Habbiling

BAGUIO CITY -- A proposed ordinance, if and when enacted, would reduce the required distance of a drinking establishment to any school, church, hospital, or public building.
    Under Section 1 of Article 4 of the Revised Liquor Ordinance of the City of Baguio (Ordinance 1-1990), no establishment serving or selling liquor shall be established within a distance of 50 linear meters or 100 linear meters, as the case may be, from any school, church, hospital, or public building. 
    The proposed ordinance would amend the Revised Liquor Ordinance, reducing the 100 linear meters for night clubs, cabarets, dance halls, disco pads, beer gardens, bars, and cocktail lounges to 30 linear meters if within the Central Business District (CBD) and 50 linear meters if outside the CBD.
    Likewise, it would reduce the 50 linear meters to 20 linear meters for retail liquor dealers and liquor stores selling alcohol for take out/take home.
    The proposal to reduce the required distance of a drinking establishment to any school, church, hospital, or public building stemmed from the complaints of bar owners operating for years but were not issued business permits because of the stringent implementation of the ordinance. 
    The Baguio City Council discussed the proposed ordinance during its regular session last November 21.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda, author of the proposed ordinance, explained that the proposed amendment of certain provisions of Ordinance 1-1990 would address the clamor of the affected business owners.
    “We are trying to relax the requirements for them, especially the distance requirement, so that they will be able to legitimately operate,” Tabanda stated. 
    It was pointed out during the public consultations conducted by Tabanda that there were several drinking establishments that started operating prior to the construction of a nearby school/church/government building, but their applications for renewal of business permits were denied because of the ordinance.
    In a forum last June of this year, several members of the city council stressed there is a need to spell out the manner and basis of measurement of the required distance.
    In the proposed ordinance, the linear measurement shall start from the nearest point of the perimeter fence, wall, riprap, or whole building being occupied to the nearest perimeter fence, wall riprap, of a school, church, hospital, athletic stadium, public park, or building rendering public service. It shall be measured through the use of aerial maps by the City Engineer's Office, the City Planning and Development Office, or any designated government office.
    Some councilors challenged the “linear” measurement, saying the route between the establishment and the school, church, hospital, etc. should instead be measured. 
    One concern raised during the public consultations is the noise coming from the bars. To address this, Tabanda stated that in the proposed ordinance, the business owners shall be compelled to ensure that the noise emanating from the establishments will not disturb the peace and quiet of people nearby. The sound shall not exceed 50 decibels. To mitigate the noise, soundproofing shall be encouraged.
    During the council session, Councilor Tabanda explained that the proposed ordinance seeks to “regulate” the operations of establishments selling and serving alcohol and not to prohibit them from operating nor completely remove all restrictions. 
    She underscored that establishments selling and serving alcohol may cause attractive nuisance, a type of nuisance that may be attractive to children and young people but may pose a risk to their safety and wellbeing.
“I ask my colleagues to also consider the plight of school administrators, parents of students, church leaders, and other concerned citizens in the city in the same manner that we consider the plight of the business owners,” she said. 
    With the comments and suggestions raised by the members of the city council, the proposal was deferred and rescheduled for second reading on December 5, 2022.
 

Read more...

  © Blogger templates Palm by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP  

Web Statistics