Responsible pet ownership edict in Baguio proposed

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BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading the so-called responsible pet ownership ordinance of the city.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon states it will be a declared policy of the local government to educate pet owners on the importance of cleaning up after their pets and to be responsible in the proper disposal of pet waste and to keep pets under control and out of trouble by keeping them laced or confined to the pet owner’s property to keep them from causing trouble for others.

Under the ordinance, it shall be unlawful for any pet owner to allow or permit their pets to defecate on the sidewalks, streets, on the ground of any public place, floors, walls, stairways, or roofs of any public or private premise used in common by the public, or unfenced area abutting a public place; unless the pets are effectively restrained by a lace or  chain not more than 6 feet long and the  pet owner abides by the rules and regulations such as carry a pet waste scooper and pet waste bag when walking their pets; use of the pet  waste scooper to pick up the pet fecal waste and place the same in the pet  waste bag and dispose the pet waste bag properly in the garbage bin.

The ordinance stipulates every barangay in the city shall put up a “curb your pet” sign in conspicuous places to encourage residents to be responsible for their pet.

Further, every barangay in the city shall create a committee composed of respectable and dependable residents charged with the responsibility of implementing the provisions of the measure and the committee shall adopt measures for the efficient, effective, and proper implementation of the proposed measure.

Any person found violating the provisions of the ordinance shall be liable to pay the fine of P500 for the first offense, a fine of P700 for the second offense, a fine of P1,000 for the third offense and a fine of P1,500 for the succeeding offenses.

The ordinance adds the fines collected by the barangays will be accounted as barangay funds and the same shall be reflected and incorporated in their barangay budgets as income and shall accrue to the general funds of the barangays.

According to the proposal, the collection of the fines shall be at all times be acknowledged by a corresponding receipt and the fines collected under the measure shall be disbursed by the barangays pursuant to existing budget, accounting, and auditing rules and regulations.

The ordinance notes that Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution states the State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instil health consciousness among them.

Moreover, Section 16 of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 states that every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare. Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and support, among other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health and safety, enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology, encourage and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant, scientific and technological capabilities, improved public morals, enhance economic prosperity and social justice.

By Dexter A. See

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