15 June 2021 – The city is currently soliciting the insights of the concerns sectors on House Bill (HB) 8882 or the revised Baguio City charter that was recently approved by the House of Representatives to reflect the real sentiments of the city’s constituency.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said that local government department heads will be devoting the next management committee meeting to discuss the provisions of the bill to ensure it will be beneficial to the city, especially in effectively and efficiently addressing the issues and concerns previously raised by concerned sectors.

HB 8882 which revised the city’s century old charter was approved by the House of Representatives on third and final reading and was subsequently transmitted to the Senate for the possible passage of the required counterpart bill in the upper chamber.

The city will also be inviting framers of similar past bills in Congress as resource persons during the scheduled management committee meeting on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 to enlighten city officials on the concrete issues that should be addressed by the proposed revision of the city’s charter.

Further, concerned sectors are also encouraged to give their observations, insights and recommendations on how to improve the contents of the House version of the bill to be included as part of the proposed amendments in the Senate version before it will be passed and submitted to the Office of the President for signing into law.

The city government department heads were also tasked to review the provisions of this approved House bill and provide the appropriate inputs during the scheduled deliberation for the possible consolidation of inputs for submission to the upper chamber for inclusion in the amendments of a good number of provisions that seem not to conform with the supposed intent of the law.

City officials requested that the concerned sectors should submit their respective position papers in writing the soonest for their suggestions and recommendations to be considered in the crafting of the proposed amendments to the bill which was described by some sectors as a virtual deviation from the contents of previous similar bills.

The city wants to immediately provide the appropriate inputs to the relevant Senate committee where the version of the lower House will be referred so that senators will be guided accordingly in deciding whether or not to entertain such proposals from the city sectors.

Concerned sectors are optimistic that the Senate committee on local government will conduct the required public consultations to get the real sentiments of the city residents.

The proposed revision of the city’s century-old charter started way back in 2001 until it was approved in late 2012 but the proposed law was vetoed by former President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III for reasons that were evidently parochial that deliberately delayed the desired settlement of the long-time boundary dispute between Baguio and nearby Tuba, among other land issues in the city. – Dexter A. See