Baguio solicits insights on revised charter

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The city is currently soliciting the insights of the concerns sectors on House Bill (HB) 8882 or the revised Baguio City charter that was recently approved by the House Committee on Representatives to ascertain that it will be reflective of the real sentiments of the inhabitants.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said that local government department heads will be devoting next management committee meeting to discuss the provisions of the bill to ensure that the bill will be beneficial to the city, especially in effectively and efficiently addressing the issues and concerns that had been previously raised by concerned sectors.

HB 8882 which revised the city’s century old charter was approved by the House of Representatives on third and final reading and was subsequently transmitted to the Senate for the possible passage of the required counterpart bill in the upper chamber.

The city will also be inviting previous framers of similar bills that were filed in Congress in the past for them to serve as resource persons during the scheduled management committee meeting on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 for them to enlighten city officials on the real issues that should be addressed by the proposed revision of the city’s charter.

Further, concerned sectors were also encouraged to provide their observations, insights and recommendations on how to improve the contents of the House version of the bill so that it could be included as part of the proposed amendments in the Senate version before it will be passed and submitted to the Office of the President for signing into law.

The local government department heads were also tasked to review the provisions of the recently approved House bill so that they will be able to provide the appropriate inputs during the scheduled deliberation for the possible consolidation of inputs that will be subsequently submitted to the upper chamber for inclusion in the amendments of a good number of provisions that seem not to conform with the supposed intent of the law.

City officials requested that the concerned sectors should submit their respective position papers in writing the soonest so that their suggestions and recommendations could be considered in the crafting of the proposed amendments to the bill which was described by some sectors as a virtual deviation from the contents of previous bills that were crafted for the said purpose.

The city wants to immediately provide the appropriate inputs to the concerned Senate committee where the version of the lower House will be referred so that senators will be guided accordingly in deciding whether or not to entertain such proposals from the city sectors.

Concerned sectors remain optimistic that the Senate committee on local government will conduct the required public consultations so that the real sentiments of the city residents will be ventilated for lawmakers to appropriately act on the matter and pass the needed legislation that will be far more beneficial to the interest of the people of the city.

The proposed revision of the city’s century-old charter started way back in 2001 until such time that the same was approved in late 2012 but the proposed law was vetoed by former President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III for reasons that were evidently parochial that deliberately delayed the desired settlement of the long-time boundary dispute between Baguio and nearby Tuba among other land issues in the city. By Dexter A. See

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