Baguio City council outperforms in 2017

BAGUIO CITY — The legislative body of the city government here doubled its effort in addressing the concerns and problems of the city, approving almost 600 resolutions and ordinances in 2017.

Vice Mayor Edison Bilog who heads the body said there were 133 ordinances approved in 2017 compared to the 69 in 2016. For resolutions, there were 459 approved and adopted in 2017 compared to the 319 in 2016.

Bilog said the resolutions and ordinances approved addresses the concerns of the city and members of the council expect these to solve the problems of Baguio and its residents.

He said, “I am happy because we were able to double our efforts which resulted to the doubling of the result to give attention to the concerns of the city.”

The 133 ordinances were not just realignments and many are aimed at helping residents like those on tax amnesty, assistance to poor residents like free burial and processing of documents with the Local Civil Registry (LCR), measures to ease the traffic and other support in cases of disaster, according to the vice mayor.

“Napakaganda ng ating output sa taong 2017 (we have a very good output in 2017),” he said.

Bilog also said that for the first quarter of 2018, the legislative body would prioritize the city’s budget which was pegged at PHP2 billion, the first fiscal budget that reached over a billion. “We hope to approve it this January,” he said.

The solution to Baguio’s garbage problem is also a top priority for the City Council. “If we will still continue to haul out garbage, we are hoping to approve a measure that will cut down on the cost,” Bilog said.

The city government has recorded an expenditure of over PHP1.2 billion in a period of 10 years for the hauling and tipping fee of its garbage in Capaz, Tarlac.

The traffic problem is another top priority. “We will give importance and address the worsening traffic problem. This needs to be given attention. There are pending resolutions and ordinances in the council which we hope will be resolved in the first quarter of the month,” Bilog added.

Other problems on health as well as peace and order are also expected to be given immediate action in first quarter of the year.

On the passage of the city’s firecracker ordinance, Bilog said that they needed to first consolidate and update the existing proposed ordinance which had been with the council for about five years.

“It was filed before President Duterte issued the executive order on firecrackers and we need to synchronize it so that it will not be in violation of the President’s order as a sign of respect,” the vice mayor said.

He added, “Definitely, we need to have our firecracker ordinance because every year there are many people who are being victimized.”

The city recorded three injuries due to firecracker explosion during the holiday season.

Based on a report submitted by city council Secretary Brenner Bengwayan, there were 37 regular sessions conducted and six special sessions aside from the 32 public hearings and summits conducted by the legislative body in 2017.