Council Calls for Halt to Alleged Trade Fair Activities at the Convention Center

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By Brix Domondon

The Council Reports

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


BANKING on the ocular investigation conducted by some of its members the city council Monday approved a motion by city councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda asking exhibit organizers at the Baguio Convention Center to stop all their activities so that an investigation can be conducted by the City Administrator’s Office on allegations that a trade fair is being operated in the area contrary to law.

In the regular session held last Monday, City Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. moved for the conduct of a legislative inquiry by inviting City Administrator Carlos Canilao, Tourism Officer Mr. Benedicto Alhambra and a certain “Rowena Calimlim” to clarify matters regarding the conduct of an exhibit at the Baguio Convention Center which, according to his personal ocular investigation, is allegedly a trade fair where selling activities are being conducted and which ostensibly runs counter to the existing trade fair ordinance of the city.

In his revelation to the other members of the august body Councilor Yangot bared that contrary to the purposes of an exhibit which is to merely display products for the appreciation of the public, the activities being done at the exhibit at the Baguio Convention Center involves the selling of various products.

Meanwhile, taking advantage of the presence of the City Administrator, Atty. Carlos Canilao, who was invited to the council relative to their departmental budget, the council members queried the former on his knowledge regarding the exhibit currently being conducted at the convention center. Atty. Canilao duly informed the august body that indeed he has knowledge of the said activity but limited only to what he was informed about that the said exhibit was for display purposes only and that no selling is involved. He added that this was the assurance he was given when he was visited at his office by those persons organizing the said exhibit. In fact he also informed the council that after having come to learn that there were alleged selling activities being conducted in the exhibit he called the attention of the Tourism Officer Mr. Benedicto Alhambra who also informed him that only the display of products are allowed as agreed upon and that no selling should be conducted.

After being informed of the matter the members of the city council decided to adopt the proposed resolution of city councilor Leandro Yangot entitled “Inviting in aid of Legislation Atty. Carlos Canilao, City Administrator, Mr. Benedicto Alhambra, City Tourism Officer, and the exhibit organizer at the Baguio Convention Center, Ms. Rowena Calimlim to appear before the City Council to shed light on the conduct of a Trade Fair at the Baguio Convention Center”. Likewise, they also approved the motion made by Councilor Tabanda amending the motion of city councilor Edison Bilog asking for an immediate halt to all activities of the said exhibit at the Baguio Convention Center pending the conduct of an investigation by the City Administrator’s Office on the matter.

It was also learned that the organizer/s of the said exhibit was able to obtain the necessary special permit from the city government to conduct their activities at the Baguio Convention Center. However, as correctly pointed out by some members of the council, if there is selling of products involved in the said exhibit then it becomes a trade fair which is covered by the trade fair ordinance of the city mandating the regulation of trade fair activities within parks and other public areas and facilities in the city of Baguio.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 19, 2014.

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