BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring natural or juridical persons to secure a barangay clearance as a requirement in the commencement of the placement of utility lines and water pipelines, major roadway constructions or reconstructions and other public improvement projects, within the jurisdiction of the barangay and providing penalties for violators.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Michael L. Lawana states that no street, lane, alley, road or public place in the barangay shall be broken or occupied for the purpose of laying conduits, ducts or pipes for electrical conductors or cables or wires and water pipes as well as major roadway constructions or reconstructions or other public improvement projects, except when covered by a barangay clearance issued by the barangay.
The ordinance stipulates the barangay clearance application shall be submitted with plans and specifications, notice to proceed, duration of the project and other pertinent documents concerning the project.
The ordinance asserts the required documents will guide the barangay in its information, education and communication campaign regarding the nature, duration, commencement and completion of the project, before the concerned residents.
Under the provisions of the ordinance, any person, natural or juridical, found to be in violation of any provision of the measure shall be fined P5,000 notwithstanding the required compliance and submission of the requirements.
Further, the ordinance authorizes the barangay to obtain injunctive and other appropriate reliefs or to pursue any other remedy authorized by law against erring natural and juridical persons aside from the fine that will be imposed against the identified violators.
Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines empowers the barangays to enact ordinances as may be necessary to discharge the responsibilities conferred upon it by law or ordinance and to promote the general welfare of its inhabitants.
The ordinance notes that the barangay is an avenue for residents to ventilate their sentiments regarding issues and concerns affecting their welfare, security and well-being.
According to the proposal, the barangay has always been the shock-absorber of all complaints, sentiments and criticisms of activities, projects, programs among other interventions of the government agencies, private individuals, private companies and associations, the implementation and commencement of which were not informed to the affected residents.
The ordinance underscores that it is the primordial purpose of the measure to regulate the placement of utility lines, major constructions or reconstructions and other public improvement projects in the jurisdiction of barangays to promote the public health, safety and welfare.
The ordinance claims there is a dire need to require all natural or juridical persons intending to place utility lines and water pipelines, construct or reconstruct major roadways and other public improvement projects a permit from the barangay to appraise and inform all residents so that necessary precautionary measures and preparations shall be undertaken the soonest.
By Dexter A. See