Mayor Benjamin Magalong has expressed full support to the Baguio City Council in the latter’s quest for a “better” city charter that is made by the people and for the people of Baguio City. In his keynote message during a recent public forum, Magalong thanked Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan and Councilor Jose Molintas “for opening [his] eyes” regarding the key issues being raised by the former and current city council about the “problematic” provisions of both the old and revised Baguio City Charter.

“Siguro I feel responsible also for not engaging more people in the crafting of our new charter. Inaamin ko. May pagkukulang din ako,” he further explained. The mayor raised the issue regarding the segregation of the 13 barangays in the Camp John Hay Reservation. The Baguio City Council
had asserted that the 19 conditions imposed by the city government in the formulation of the Master Development Plan for Camp John Hay as indicated in City Council Resolution 362-1994 should have been incorporated into the proposed revision of the city charter.

One of these conditions was the segregation of the 13 barangays found within the Camp John Hay Reservation. Meanwhile, Councilor Peter Fianza, after presenting to the public the city council’s
objection against the passage of the bill, said the City of Baguio and its people deserve a “better” city charter. For his part, Molintas emphasized that the crafting of laws should start from the
grassroots to embody the ideals and address the actual needs of the communities.

The resolution pointed out the “ambiguity” of the territorial boundaries of the city as indicated in Section 3 of the bill. It claimed that this section does not indicate the exact metes and bounds of the City of Baguio which is supposed to be a “vital provision” of the city charter. It said there is a need to include a provision in the charter containing the definite metes and bounds of the city, taking into consideration the city’s land disputes with the adjoining municipalities. Lastly, the resolution raised concern on the “discrepancy” between the new city charter and the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 on the land area of the Camp John Hay Reservation.

SP/Jordan G. Habbiling

Amianan Balita Ngayon