Baguio adopts system to ensure enforcement of city laws

BAGUIO CITY — The city council of Baguio has recently passed a number of ordinances that many consider as vital and transformational, but ensuring its implementation is more important, Vice Mayor Edison Bilog said.

Among these are the anti-profanity ordinance, the provision of basic life support services and personnel trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for emergency situations in all public and private offices, the establishment of women and children’s desks in all of the city’s 128 barangays, and the additional aid to solo parents and their children.

Bilog said they have now put in place a legislative tracking system (LTS) so that the city council can effectively monitor if these ordinances are made known to the public and being implemented.

“We have institutionalized this now, so that yearly, we are sure the laws we are making are being implemented,” said Bilog in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Monday.

Bilog explained that they write concerned agencies, including the mayor’s office, to inquire why a certain ordinance is not being implemented, and even ask for suggestions “on probable amendments that they want to be done, so that the law will become effective”.

Bilog said the LTS is also a way of reminding the implementing agencies on the existence of the ordinances, so these could be implemented.

He said the LTS has two goals — to let the city council see what ordinances are not being implemented; and second, which ordinances need to be amended or abolished.

A staff of the city council research division cited, as an example, the 1988 ordinance on anti-littering and spitting that carries a penalty of PHP100 or imprisonment of 30-60 days for violators. This was amended in 1995 and further revised in 2006 and in 2011.

In 2018, observations based on the LTS led to yet another recommended revision for the ordinance, thus, the filing of a proposed resolution entitled “Prohibiting the chewing of betel nut and or spitting of betel nut quid or ‘moma’ in public places in the city of Baguio in order to promote health and address environmental concerns and providing penalties in violation thereof.”

It was observed that despite the earlier ordinances on spitting, the chewing and spitting of betel nut on the road has remained an unpleasant habit among residents of Baguio.