City charter ready for plenary hearing-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
MAYOR Mauricio Domogan is optimistic the revised Baguio City Charter will be up for plenary deliberation in the Senate by June.
Domogan revealed the hearing on the revised city charter at the Senate Committee on Local Governments presided by Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. went smoothly with the senator posing several questions on the conflict of the free patent law and the revised charter.
However, Mayor Domogan told the staff of the senator that there’s no conflict between the proposed charter and the recently enacted Free Patent Law as it is clear and specific it only covers alienable and disposable lands with an area of 200 square meters and below.
He said once approved, the city charter would be an alternative to the Free Patent Law in the disposition of alienable and disposable lands, especially for those occupying or applying for lands beyond 200 square meters area.
The mayor said in the revised charter, one of the amendments is the removal of the mandatory public bidding previously required in Town site Sales Applications.
In the new charter, land applications will be converted to some sort of miscellaneous or direct award to occupants or applicants of an alienable or disposable land.
Senator Marcos, on the other hand, said he will form a technical working group to finalize the draft of the city charter after the Holy Week this April.
House Bill 3759 was heard last week with the mayor, Baguio Representative Bernardo Vergara, Tuba officials led by Mayor Florencio Bentres and other concerned sectors attending the hearing by the Senate Committee on Local Governments.
The mayor is hopeful the charter will be passed into a law before the Baguio Charter Day on September 1, 2012.
Aside from amending land award and distribution, the amendments in the city charter will also settle land disputes between Tuba and Baguio.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 13, 2012.