Night vending and LED lights-A A +A
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
THE City council during its seventh regular session opted to refer to the Market Committee the issue of alleged discrimination and selective implementation of the night market vending activities along several areas within the central business district, and refrained from authorizing the City Mayor to negotiate with interested parties for the implementation of the LED light project of the city.
The first issue was originally calendared as item two in the agenda of the city council and is a proposed resolution introduced by city councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda who is calling for the conduct of an inquiry in aid of legislation on the vending activities at the night market along Zandueta St., Maharlika, Upper/Lower Mabini, Session Road and other streets starting at 6:00 o’clock in the evening. As explained by Councilor Tabanda her proposed measure was based on complaints from some night market operators regarding discrimination or selective implementation of the policies of the City on not selling until 9 o’clock in the evening. She also added that these complainants are also alleging that there are some acts supposedly being committed by certain government personnel which are discriminatory and prejudicial to them. She further stressed that in the interest of justice it is important for those concerned to come out in the open in order to answer the allegations.
During the deliberation of the matter Councilor Tabanda also made a privilege manifestation regarding information that she received from the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) as well as some night market vendors that City Councilor Edison R. Bilog had already conducted an inquiry on the same compliant to which the latter vehemently denied saying that the information is a clear false allegation. Councilor Bilog clarified that the inquiry that he conducted was based on a complaint received by his office way back in January 27 or several weeks prior to the resolution filed by councilor Tabanda. He also maintained that while he conducted an investigation on the matter filed with his office the subject matter pertains to the attitude of some POSD personnel and did not refer to vending activities being done at Zandueta or Maharlika. He added further that the investigation he conducted was scheduled much earlier that the proposed measure filed by councilor Tabanda.
Obviously peeved at the reaction of her colleague, Councilor Tabanda commented to the presiding officer that they all have the obligation to be candid with one another in the council. She asserted that Councilor Bilog should have been more candid in manifesting that the issue is already being handled by his office in the determination to establish whether the allegations of the night market operators are true or not, to which Bilog countered that to his belief he has been candid to everybody on the matter but the problem was that the letter complaint supposedly referred to another topic and did not involve vending activities along Zandueta St.
The discussion and ensuing exchange of comments on the above issue between councilors Tabanda and Bilog actually followed an earlier consensus made by the august body, upon motion of city councilor Erdolfo Balajadia, that the said matter be referred to the Committee on Market for appropriate verification and investigation.
Meanwhile on another matter, the proposal for the august body to authorize the City Mayor to negotiate with interested providers for the LED lights project of the city was not favorably considered by the city council after it failed to muster enough votes for its passage.
In the deliberation of the above matter, discussion centered on whether the City Mayor still needs authorization from the city council to implement the LED project considering that a Terms of Preference (TOR) had already been previously approved by the council which is the basis for the carrying out of the said project. After considering the observations made by the members of the august body and due to the number of abstensions by the members, the proposal was later withdrawn. The proposal to also authorize the mayor to implement the LED project based on the approved TOR, on motion of Councilor Richard Carino, was not also given favorable consideration after several members abstained from voting. The decision on the above matters seemed hinged on the belief that even without consulting the city council the executive or the city mayor can move forward with the project using the approved TOR as basis.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 27, 2013.