Aquino vetoes city charter-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III rejected to sign into law House Bill (HB) 3759, or the Act Revising the Charter of Baguio City.
In a decision issued in January 17 from Malacañang, Aquino informed House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and members of the House of Representatives that he is returning the proposed bill without his signature and is constrained to veto the bill.
“While the objectives of the bill relating to local governmental powers are laudable, the same provisions are all covered by the present Local Government Code of 1991,” Aquino said.
The President said: “The proposed measure impinges on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ exclusive mandate over control and supervision of alienable and disposable public lands and runs counter to the laws governing the disposition of townsite reservations.”
Aquino also highlighted that section 35 of the proposed charter is “ambiguous as to the entity that may dispose of alienable and disposable lands which are part of the townsite reservation.”
The President said that when the provision governing the disposition of such lands is unclear as to who initiates the selling, the measure may be interpreted as empowering the local government of Baguio City to dispose of alienable and disposable lands.
He said the measure conflicts with DENR’s mandate, making the bill’s implementation difficult while Section 36 of the proposed amended charter mandates that proceeds of the sale of lands through miscellaneous sales applications will accrue to the City Treasury and not to the National Treasury as mandated by the Public Land Act to serve as general fund of the government.
Aquino also identified possible conflicts of Sections 35 and 36 of the proposed measure with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority Act of 1992, particularly on the disposition of lands already transferred to the BCDA.
All proceeds from the disposition of BCDA lands, he said, should accrue to the BCDA.
The President decided the proposed measure will deprive the BCDA of proceeds and will adversely impact the thrusts of the government agency, the bases conversion program and stakeholders including Baguio, La Trinidad, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay projects of necessary funding.
The proposed revised City Charter, originally authored by Mayor Mauricio Domogan during his stint as city representative, was filed again in the 15th Congress by incumbent Representative Bernardo Vergara.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 23, 2013.