BAGUIO CITY (Feb. 11) — The public criticism on the hasty passing of an ordinance that could have allowed the issuance of a car plan for each of the 14 councilors here has resulted in the revocation Monday of City Ordinance 057-2007.
The revoking ordinance was the result of two proposals, one penned by Vice-mayor Daniel T. Fariñas; and the other by Councilors Galo D. Weygan and Perlita L. Chan-Rondez, which similarly sought the repeal of the car plan ordinance. Both proposals sought the realignment of the car plan allotment for other purposes
“The repeal is the council’s way of heeding the public clamor for the council to address social services,” Chan-Rondez told Nordis in an earlier interview. She said, like the passing of the car plan ordinance, the repealing ordinance was passed on first reading, the second and third readings dispensed with. It is a display of humility, she said of the revocation.
Public opposition swarmed the council right after Ordinance 057-2007 was hastily approved. Public funds should be better spent on more vital projects, said Geraldine Cacho, chair emiritus of the city’s urban poor organization Organisasyon dagiti Nakurapay nga Umili ti Syudad (Ornus).
As Fariñas had earlier asked, the repealing ordinance will revert P18 million car plan allotment to the general fund, while Weygan and Rondez sought the realignment of such fund for solid waste management purposes.
Committee on Laws Chair, Councilor Richard Cariño, said the people of Baguio City do not like the car plan. “This popular sentiment pushed the council to repeal the ordinance and use the money, instead for other purposes for the delivery of better social services.
In an interview after the council session, Cariño said he supports Weygan and Rondez’es proposal to divert the funds to the city’s material recovery facility to address the city’s mounting garbage problems.
Other councilors want the funds to buy motorcycle bikes for the Philippine National Police.
Cacho said the council should prioritize the delivery of basic social services. She said the city’s urban poor communities need better medical and school facilities. She also underscored the need to address urban poor housing and the creation of job opportunities if the city is to truly address the needs of its populace.
The Baguio First Movement in a petition it submitted to the council, also urged elected officials to forego the purchase of cars. Another similar petition came from the Baguio Muna – Watchdog.
Earlier, the council was criticized for not conducting public consultations before the car plan ordinance was passed.
Ordinance 57-2007 was passed on November 12, 2007. It appropriated some P25 million for various priority projects from the excess 2006 internal revenue allocation. # Lyn V. Ramo for NORDIS