BAGUIO CITY – (June 10, 2021) – An ordinance defining the duties, functions, and rules of engagement of the Public Order and Security Division under the City Mayor’s Office passed the third and final reading during the city council’s regular session on May 31, 2021.
Proposed in 2018, the ordinance has been reviewed and updated by the Sanggunian’s Committee on Public Protection and Safety, Peace, and Order chaired by Councilor Francisco Roberto Ortega VI.
Under the ordinance, the following rules of undertaking shall be carried out at all times in all the activities and operations of the POSD enforcers:
They shall at all times observe due courtesy and proper respect as befitting public servants of the city government;
No POSD enforcer shall be allowed to carry firearms or other deadly weapons while on-duty;
They shall always wear their uniforms and identification cards while on duty, except when conducting buy-bust operations in relation to the Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Baguio City;
No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation or any other means which violates the free will of each citizen shall be used against any individual;
The excessive use of force shall be avoided. Maximum tolerance shall always be observed;
They shall issue violation ticket and when issuing, it shall be cited in detail the violation committed; and
Should there be resistance from violator/s when confronted, they shall endeavor to exhaust all possible means to pacify the violator/s involved and acquire assistance from the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) in the arrest and apprehension of those found to be in possession of weapons, thus, be prohibited from further exacerbating the situation.
It shall also be the duty of the POSD to guide other concerned agencies/offices in the performance of their duties and responsibilities specifically to maintain order and safety within the Baguio City Public Market, the Central Business District, and in other areas where they are deployed as well as to provide support to the barangay government units.
Likewise, the POSD shall secure the general public and maintain public order in conjunction with the police and other tasked enforcement offices.
The ordinance noted that the POSD is deputized to implement laws, ordinances, and executive orders in the city on anti-vending, anti-smoking and other vices, anti-mendicancy, anti-peddling, non-wearing of a face mask/shield and non-observance of other health protocols.
The ordinance stressed that “the POSD shall confiscate goods, products, wares, as may be necessary, but only after voluntary surrender of the violator/s was unsuccessful” and that the proper remedy in the event that the violator does not voluntarily surrender the goods is to bring the violator along with the products to the office for processing.
In the confiscation and disposition of goods, the POSD shall observe the following procedure:
The POSD shall maintain records of their confiscated goods, mode of disposition and status, and shall likewise submit monthly and year-end accomplishment reports to the City Mayor and City Treasurer for accounting purposes;
All confiscated non-perishable products such as RTW goods which are not claimed after five days from the date of confiscation shall be turned over to the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) for proper disposition in relation to the existing programs or operations of the city government;
All unclaimed confiscated perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, and the like, shall be turned over to the CSWDO within two 2 days from the date of confiscation or earlier, as the case may be, to prevent spoilage; and
Upon turnover of goods, the CSWDO shall receive and acknowledge the goods and thereafter submit to the City Mayor the list of goods along with the method of disposition.
The ordinance also requires the accomplishment of the letter of undertaking which is a written promise offered as security for the performance of a particular act. Indicated therein are the corresponding sanctions and disciplinary actions that can be charged against an enforcer who may violate any provision of the letter of undertaking.
The Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Ordinance shall be prepared by the City Mayor’s Office, the City Legal Office, the Baguio City Market Authority, the Market Division under the City Treasury Office, and the BCPO; to be submitted to the City Council for approval.
The ordinance has been transmitted to the City Mayor’s Office to be signed by the chief executive. –Jordan G. Habbiling