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City officials requested the Optical Media Board (OMB) to comply with the pertinent provisions of Section 14 of Republic Act (RA) 9239, otherwise known as the Optical Media Act of 2003, granting a license that shall be valid for a period of three years.
Under Resolution No. 368, series of 2021, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, local legislators stated that the annual issuance of a license is burdensome to the businesses considering that the submission and processing of all documents is done at the OMB central office in Metro Manila.
The council requested lawmakers to make the appropriate representations or intercessions on the matter with the OMB concerning the intention and application or enforcement of the law in the city.
Earlier, OMB officials informed the local legislative body during one of its regular session that the license issued by OMB for the city businesses are valid for a period of 1 year.
Further, OMB officials stipulated that Section 14 of RA 9239 provided for the validity of OMB license to be valid for 3 years.
The said provision added that every license shall be in a form prescribed by the OMB and shall be valid for a period of 3 years subject to conditions as the OMB may impose. The OMB may amend or renew a license upon application made by the licensee pursuant to the said law.
According to the OMB officials, there is a Memorandum Circular that was enacted during the time of Chairman of Eduardo Manzano in 2006 and that the justice department gave an opinion that the 3-year license period is not mandatory.
Since OMB is the regulating agency, the said memorandum made it for 1 year so that the establishments being regulated may be regulated more properly since there is a need to renew every year.
Moreover, OMB officials asserted that the memorandum is consistent with Section 10 of the aforesaid law which bestowed its powers and functions of the OMB to enact incidental powers so long as there is the approval of the board and such went through the proper proceedings through the board to approve the 1 year license requirements.
However, the council argued that it is a basic rule in statutory construction that the board created by law can only exercise the powers explicitly stated in the said law.
Businesses in the city sought the assistance of the City Council to make the appropriate representation with the OMB to strictly adhere to the provisions of the OMB law that provided that the validity period of the licenses being issued by the same is 3 years and for the OMB not to insist on the 1 year period being currently being imposed by the same for businesses doing business with the regulatory agency.
The concerned businesses emphasized that the 1 year validity period being currently imposed by the OMB for them to renew such licenses is impractical, expensive and unenforceable because it will just entail added cost on their part which is no longer feasible with the heavy impacted inflicted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to business. By Dexter A. See