Cariño endorses City Charter revisions

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Friday, February 21, 2014


COUNCILOR Richard Carino proposed a resolution endorsing Representative Nicasio Aliping Jr.'s House Bill 3463 for the revision of the Baguio City Charter.

Carino said the new bill addresses the same purposes as the previous unsuccessful proposals such as settling the boundary dispute with the municipality of Tuba, addressing the problems and speed up the disposal and awarding of alienable and disposable public lands to qualified beneficiaries, improving human resource and revenue of the city.

"House Bill No. 3463 is substantially the same but changes were made to address the objections in the President’s veto message in the passage of House Bill No. 3769," he noted.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan, who authored the original bill during his term as city representative to Congress, earlier said he and Aliping will make sure the new bill will address the concerns raised by President Benigno Aquino III when he vetoed the bill filed by former representative Bernardo Vergara last year.

He said the drafting committee will make sure to address the four items raised by the President especially the matter on alienable and disposable land.

Aquino in his veto message said the provisions of the bill “are all covered by the present Local Government Code” and questioned the provisions on the disposition of alienable and disposable land which he said “impinge on the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) exclusive mandate over control and supervision of (these) lots and run counter to the laws governing the disposition of townsite reservations.”

He also said it was not clear what entity will be in charge of disposal alienable and disposable lots and further questioned the provision that proceeds from the sale of lands through miscellaneous sales applications shall accrue to the city and not to the national treasury.

Aquino also said some of the provisions of the bill run counter to the Bases Convention and Development Authority (BCDA) Act of 1992 on the matter of disposition of properties already transferred to the BCDA.
This will be the city’s fourth attempt to update its charter.

Before the President’s veto, Vergara’s bill managed to get past the Lower House and the Senate courtesy of Senate Committee on Local Government chair Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who went out of his way to push for the passage of the bill.

Domogan during his term as congressman filed the bill twice but the legislations did not go beyond the Lower House.

The city’s charter has remained unchanged since it was written by Justice George Malcolm in 1909. The Charter even pre-dates the 1935 Constitution and has not yet been revised since its enactment so that almost all of its provisions have become obsolete and irrelevant. (Aileen Refuerzo)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 22, 2014.

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