MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Local Government approved on Thursday a bill seeking to revise the Charter of Baguio City, but subject to refinement of some provisions by a technical working group (TWG).
Senator Francis Tolentino, chair of the committee, said provisions on territorial boundaries, city officials, boards and councils, and ancestral lands are among the parts of the Senate Bill No. 2163 to be "fine-tuned" by the TWG.
"The committee would convene a technical working group to fine-tune some of the provisions the Chair just mentioned while we wait for position papers coming from DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), NCIP (National Commission on Indigenous Peoples), BCDA (Bases Conversion and Development Authority), and perhaps the City Council and the Camp John Hay authorities," the senator said.
"The committee is approving the measure subject to a technical working group refinement," he added.
Tolentino said the TWG will be composed of members of the Senate committee, the legal officer of Baguio City government, the Land Management Bureau, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, BCDA, Camp John Hay authorities, and the office of Baguio City Rep. Mark Go.
The TWG meeting will be held in Baguio City.
The Senate bill, introduced by Senator Imee Marcos, seeks to revise the current charter of Baguio "to cater the present needs of the city and its people."
"The proposed measure retains similar goals, primarily to include the effective implementation of the city government's land use development plan, settlement of the boundary dispute of the city with the adjoining Municipality of Tuba, addressing the problem in the disposition of alienable and disposable public lands with the Baguio townsite reservation, and the creation of a more responsive taxation system and revenue generating projects," Marcos said in her explanatory note for the bill.
"Furthermore, this bill states, among other things, that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources retains sole authority over the control and supervision of alienable and disposable public lands, and that the revised charter does not interfere on the disposition of public properties owned by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority," she stated.
The House of Representatives also approved on third and final reading a similar measure called House Bill No. 8882 last March. With a report from Faith Yuen Wei Ragasa, Inquirer trainee
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