Baguio Charter Change Bill moving at Senate; Magalong credits achievement to Go, Domogan

16 September 2021 – Mayor Benjamin Magalong is pleased with the encouraging outcome of the Sept. 15 deliberation of the Baguio City charter change bill at the Senate plenary session and is crediting the gains to Rep. Marquez Go and former mayor and congressman Mauricio Domogan.

“We congratulate and thank Congressman Go, former mayor and congressman Domogan and all others who worked for this monumental piece of legislation.  Updating our city charter is long overdue and because of their efforts, we now see this aspiration coming into fruition,” Magalong said.

He said Go, principal author of House Bill 8882 for the Revision of the Charter of Baguio, spearheaded all efforts to perfect the bill from its drafting all the way to its hurdling the different stages of the legislative process.

“Congressman Go did the bulk of the work.  All the city government did was give inputs to improve the provisions in collaboration with him,” he said.

Domogan on the other hand initiated the original bill and pushed for it more than once despite debacles, the last of which was when then President Benigno Aquino III vetoed the bill because part of the provisions were contrary to national and local laws.

Magalong who attended the Senate plenary session deliberations said the bill has been provisionally approved subject to amendments.

House Bill 8882’s counterpart Senate Bill 2163 is authored by Sen. Imee Marcos.  It was sponsored by Sen. Francis Tolentino at the plenary session.

The Senate will revisit the bill next week so that senators can study it for possible amendments.

In filing the bill, Go said: “There is a great need to revise the charter to enable it to keep up with the changing times and to address the city’s present challenges and concerns.”

He said the revision hopes to address the following: “ensure effective implementation of the city government’s land use development plan; settle the boundary dispute of the city with the adjoining Municipality of Tuba, Benguet; address the problem in the disposition of alienable and disposable public lands with the Baguio town site reservation; strengthen city’s organizational structure to respond to the growing needs of the city; and, remedy the provisions indicated in the veto message of former Pres. Benigno Aquino III when similar measure was presented for his approval.” – Aileen P. Refuerzo