SP probes worsening Bacoor flooding

The members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Bacoor City, Cavite initiated a legislative inquiry on twin subjects that trouble the minds of Bacooreños every rainy season: why does Bacoor get flooded and how can such disasters be prevented.

In a public hearing held on September 24, 2018 attended by the heads of the various departments of the Bacoor City government such as Acting City Engineer Jess Salvador, Zoning and Land Development Officer Engr. Arthur San Jose, City Social Welfare and Development Officer Mrs. Lilian Ugalde, and Bacoor Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Richard Quion, it was learned by the members of the City Council that some of the reasons behind the perennial flooding problem of the city during the onset of the rainy season are the following: (a) defective drainage systems constructed by the DPWH and by private property developers, (b) sections of the city’s drainage network silted with plastic garbage and other detritus or blocked by unscrupulous private property developers, (c) the increase of water levels brought about by the enhanced severity of weather related events during the past two years.

After hearing this, the members of the City Council unanimously directed the various resource persons to submit a detailed report on (a) how the various causes of flooding in the city can be resolved, (b) how the City Council can help in making the said solutions possible, and (c) how soon can the said solutions be implemented.

The various resource persons invited by the City Council promised to comply with the said directive as soon as possible. The members of the Council the informed the resource persons that another public hearing will be held on report/s that they would submit.

Proposed Marching Band Ordinance being mulled over by City Council

Since 2013, the City of Bacoor has earned the distinction of being the so-called “Marching Band Capital of the Philippines”. Accordingly, the city plays host to annual competitions participated in by various marching bands in the Philippines and abroad.

In an effort to further hone the musical talents of Bacoor City residents and inculcate in them a more profound appreciation of the City’s history and musical traditions, Councilor Rowena Bautista-Mendiola of Bacoor West District (District 1) authored Proposed City Ordinance No. 2018-006 that aims to require all privately owned educational institutions in the City to establish, maintain and finance marching bands.

If approved in its original form, PCO 2018-006 will give out incentives to privately owned educational institutions that will form its own marching bands. However, private schools and colleges that unjustifiably fail to form a marching band will be penalized.

The proposed ordinance is now being studied by the Committee on Tourism, Culture, and External Linkages chaired by Councilor Bautista-Mendiola in consultation with various stakeholders.

“Ease of doing business” to be promoted by SP thru the “30-minute Challenge”, revision of Internal Rules

When various transactions of the public with the government become faster, efficient, and more convenient — everybody wins. This simple fact is the moving spirit behind the enactment of Republic Act No. 11032 also known as the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018” which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on May 28, 2018.

In compliance with the provisions of RA 11032 which effectively amended the various provisions of Republic Act No. 9485 (also known as the “Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007”), the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City Bacoor is launching two initiatives intended to improve the manner by which the City Council and the Office of the Vice Mayor transacts with the public, namely: (a) the 30-Minute Challenge, and (b) the revision of the various provisions of the Internal Rules of the City Council.

The 30-Minute Challenge, according to Atty. Khalid Atega Jr., Secretary to the Sangguniang Panlungsod, is a program that aims to train SP/OVM personnel to deliver excellent service to all taxpayers, Bacoor City residents, city government employees and officials, employees and officials of other LGUs and national agencies, and foreign visitors at all times and under all circumstances; ensure the efficient delivery of various government services to the public; curtail the commission of graft and corruption in the operation of the SP/OVM; create an effective feedback mechanism that will allow the clients of the said offices to give suggestions on how to improve its services; give due recognition to the exemplary performance of employees of the SP/OVM; and subject erring SP/OVM personnel to further training or, if warranted, to the appropriate administrative sanctions.

The project, once implemented fully, will enable the SP/OVM to complete simple transactions (transactions that should be acted upon within 3 days as provided under RA 11032) within just 30 minutes, complex transactions (transactions that should be acted upon within 7 days under RA 11032) within one working day, and highly technical transactions (transactions that should be completed within 20 days under RA 11032) within 10 days.

On the other hand, the revision of the Internal Rules of the City Council will enhance the ability of its members to quickly and efficiently act upon various matters that fall within the ambit of RA 11032. It must be noted, however, that the approval of ordinances – the main duty of the Sanggunian – is not among the government transactions that fall within the purview of the said law.

City Council eyes revision of Bacoor Traffic Code

In keeping with its mandate to promote the general welfare of the public and enhance peace and order in the City of Bacoor, the Sangguniang Panlungsod recently collated the suggestions of various stakeholders related to traffic management within the city with the end view of using the same as basis for the revision of the existing Bacoor Traffic Code (City Ordinance No. 2013-047) and other related city ordinances.

Six inter-related issues pertaining to traffic management are now being jointly heard by all the committees of the City Council so as to ensure that a comprehensive and effective solution to Bacoor’s traffic gridlocks during rush hours is found as soon as possible. Some of the suggestions now being studied by the Sanggunian are the following: (a) amendment of the existing regulations on the grant of franchises to tricycles, (b) issuance of inter-city franchises in favor of public utility tricycles plying between Bacoor City and Imus City, (c) one peso increase in the minimum fare for tricycles proposed by various tricycle operators, and the  (d) formulation of a system that will protect passengers from fare over charging by unscrupulous tricycle drivers.

It may be recalled that in a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) released on February of this year, it was revealed that the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila costs the national economy at least P3.5 billion in lost opportunities per day.  This enormous figure does not include lost economic opportunities caused by traffic jams in areas outside of Metro Manila such as Bacoor City and other local government units.

Due to the severe impact of unmitigated traffic management problems to the local and national economy, the Sangguniang Panlungsod has reached out to various stakeholders to submit their respective position papers on how to solve the said problems which would then be used by the Council in revising various provisions of the Bacoor Traffic Code. It is estimated that the final committee report on the said matter shall be submitted to the Council floor before the end of October 2018.

CDRRMC requests SP to declare area along Zapote River as “no build zone” due to erosion risk

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of the City of Bacoor, chaired by Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla, passed Resolution No. 7-S-2018 on 17 July 2018 recommending the immediate relocation of 35 families residing in an area in Barangay San Nicolas 3 adjoining the Zapote River and to declare the said area as a “no build zone” due to the possibility that the homes of the said families may be washed away due to soil erosion brought about by heavy rains. The CDRRMC then requested the City Council to approve the said recommendation.

The said resolution, which was unanimously passed by the various members of the CDRRMC, provided that site inspections conducted in the said area revealed that several houses along the banks of the Zapote River “are critically constructed and are in danger of being washed away by the river current”.

The request of the CDRRMC was referred to the Committee on Housing and Land Utilization chaired by Councilor Edwin G. Gawaran of Bacoor West District (District 1) and to the Committee on Rules and Privileges, Laws and Ordinances headed by Councilor Venus D. De Castro also of Bacoor West District.  The joint committee will hold public hearings on the said matter beginning on September 20, 2018.