City woes to be addressed by charter-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Friday, August 10, 2012
WITH the month long Baguio Charter Day celebration this September, city officials are optimistic House Bill 3759 or the Revised City Charter will soon be approved in the House of Representatives and Senate.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the city invited Committee on Local Government Chairman Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as guest of honor and speaker during the 103rd Baguio Day celebrations.
During the event, he said they will be able to clarify to the senator some of the conflicting provisions of the bill with existing national law such as the Free Patent Law.
In his comment during the charter deliberations, Senator Marcos panned the provision on direct award of lands claiming it may conflict with the Free Patent Law being implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The provision ending land speculation, especially in awarding alienable and disposable lands, are among the major issues to be addressed in the revised charter aside from the payment of higher real property taxes in the city.
Domogan said the direct award of lands is easier to implement compared to the current practice of awarding lands through Townsite Sales Applications (TSAs) and Miscellaneous Sales Applications (MSAs).
The mayor said as of the moment some 5,800 TSAs and MSAs are now pending for scrutiny and awarding by the city.
He said the current process of awarding of lots have also led to land speculations and squatting in the city.
The mayor said among the major issues to be addressed by the revised charter is the boundary dispute between the municipality of Tuba and the city of Baguio.
He said some three-fourths of the existing municipal hall of the adjoining town is within the land area of Baguio.
Both local governments have already agreed and settled their dispute and these new boundaries are now laid out after a survey made that was specified in the proposed charter.
The revised charter will also assert and impose authority of the city government on its assets such as the Asin mini-hydroelectric plant which is now being prepared for bidding with the private sector.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 10, 2012.