Dads Seek Legal Opinion on Barangay Request-A A +A
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
WHAT begun last Monday as an innocuous request from a barangay to the city council for the enactment of a local law that would grant a share in city revenue may yet turn out into a complicated legal question.
The request in the form of a resolution from Burnham-Legarda Barangay is to ask the city council to consider passing a resolution or approving an ordinance that would grant the former a share from the revenue generated from business operations within Burnham Park. In its justification, the barangay thru their leader Punong Barangay Alberto Buyawe who appeared personally to the city council last Monday, cited several instances where it ostensibly shows the barangay exercising its authority over Burnham Park which is within its territorial jurisdiction, as well as extending its services to the various concessionaires within the said park.
In one instance, Punong Barangay Buyawe explained to the members of the city council that it is their office that issues Barangay business clearance to all business operators at Burnham Park. Buyawe added that without the said Barangay business clearance, the City Treasurer’s Office will not process any application to operate business within the park. In addition to the clearance, barangay resolution numbered 11-2012 also mentions the conduct of a tax mapping by the barangay and the submission of a list of business establishments with and without business permits to which Burnham Park was included.
In another instance, Punong barangay Buyawe told the members of the city council that it is their barangay which handles conciliation and mediation proceedings in criminal and civil disputes that occur within Burnham Park. In the said barangay resolution it was further added that during these mediation and conciliation processes the participating barangay officials are sometimes threatened by the disputants. Since they consider Burnham Park within their territorial jurisdiction, the Punong Barangay also informed the city council that it is their barangay tanods and kagawads who conduct routine night patrols along Burnham Park particularly the Kisad side of the said Park from the city library to Shanum Street.
The above request of the barangay was previously referred to the office of the City Treasurer by the Committee on Barangay Affairs of the City Council and was returned with an observation by the OIC City Treasurer Alicia Onoza that the request of the barangay cannot be granted owing to the absence of legal basis.
To the observation made by the OIC city treasurer Punong Barangay Buyawe stressed that their request is not without any legal basis. He mentioned Section 18 of RA 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code which provides that, “xxxx…Local government units shall have the power and authority…..xxxx… to have an equitable share in the proceeds from the utilization and development of the national wealth and resources within their respective territorial jurisdictions including sharing the same with the inhabitants by way of direct benefits; …xxxx…”.
Buyawe pointed out that the said provision of RA 7160 is applicable to them considering that Burnham Park is still owned by the national government but only managed and supervised by the city. He also maintained that the other basis of their request is founded on what is termed as “equity”. As defined in the internet, equity is the “set of legal principles that supplement strict rules of law where their application would operate harshly. In civil legal systems, broad "general clauses" allow judges to have similar leeway in applying the code. Equity is commonly said to "mitigate the rigor of common law", allowing courts to use their discretion and apply justice in accordance with natural law.”
After airing his barangay’s view on the matter Punong Barangay Buyawe was duly informed by the city council that the said matter, as per their decision, already had been referred to the City Legal Office for its comment and legal opinion and for the former to furnish said office all other documents related to their request.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 30, 2013.