Today, the Makabayan Metro Baguio releases its Peoples Agenda which listed key concerns and recommendations on issues affecting the people of Baguio. This Peoples Agenda also serves as a challenge for aspiring local candidates and the City government to adopt these key concerns and recommendations. Among these key concerns are on land use, development and poverty; garbage and waste management; health; education; workers’ rights and welfare; women’s rights and welfare; and on drivers.
On the issue of land use, development and poverty, Makabayan Metro Baguio recommends that incoming city officials should ensure that the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of Baguio strikes the proper balance between economic development and environmental protection. It added that plans and actions of the city government should give priority to the welfare of the people, of future generations and the sustainability of the environment and not for profit-generating development projects that benefits only few private and foreign corporations and the powerful elite. The City government should also conduct wider consultations with the people and communities affected in the formulation of laws, policies, projects and programs on land use and development in the city. Free prior and informed consent of affected communities should be also observed. Conduct comprehensive study and enact appropriate legislation to reconcile conflicting land surveys, land use, titles, townsite sales application and other tenurial instruments of land disposition in the city.
The City government should also declare a moratorium on demolitions of houses and vendors. Provide appropriate spaces for urban poor vendors free of charge. Investigate illegal and anomalous land transactions, land grabbing, graft and corruption practices in the disposition of land in the city. Punish those accountable for these crimes. Conduct geo-hazard mapping to determine dangerous land areas in Baguio as a basis for disaster risk reduction and preparedness, while ensuring that this is not mis-used to justify relocation and/or demolition of informal settlers and rightful owners. Consider urban planning in a wider-scale such as the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba (BLISTT) framework for development.
On garbage and waste management, Makabayan Metro Baguio recommends to conduct a comprehensive study and hold public consultation and multi-sectoral dialogues towards arriving at a sustainable solution to the garbage problem of the city. Intensify programs to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in the city. Encourage and support viable household-level and community-level initiatives, as well as indigenous and innovative practices of waste management. Promote alternative material such as bayong, paper bags, and other alternative to plastics and Styrofoam. Hold the government accountable for the millions of pesos budget allocated for waste management and information, education campaign. Ensure multi-sectoral collaboration in waste management and form a working group to study the budget, where is it going to ensure that it is used for its real purpose of waste management.
On health, City officials must support the peoples’ lobby for a higher state subsidy for public hospitals and ensure regular jobs for the health workers. City officials should allocate greater funds to the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center instead to only few individuals. The city should make a resolution in support to the allocation of 5% in the GDP to health programs.
On education, the City should create a working committee, involving the affected sectors, as a venue for addressing the concerns of education in Baguio City like tuition and other fee increases, illegal dismissal of teaching and non-teaching personnel, campus rights, etc.
Increase the local Cost-of-Living Allowance of teachers from the Special Education Fund of the city government. To create an ordinance protecting the rights of students renting temporary housing like setting a rental ceiling. For the city officials to create resolutions and support efforts in lobbying the national government to increase the budget in education. Support appropriate and relevant programs for indigenous education
Create an appropriate plan for the city to address the problem on lack of facilities and schools due to the K-12 program. Conduct investigation on human rights violations by school authorities/administrations against students and teachers.
On workers’ rights and welfare, the city government should immediately conduct impartial investigation to the companies and business establishments in the city (ex. SM, Novo, other department stores, hotels and restaurants) that are violating labor policies as stated in the Labor Code Art 106 (Appropriate, Regulate, Restrict or Prohibit Contracting Out of Labor) at DOLE DO 18-A Prohibition Against Labor Only Contracting. The city government should also conduct investigation on big companies but were registered under the Barangay Micro Business Enterprise (BAMBE) to escape paying the minimum wage set by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB). Ensure appropriate punishment to the companies and business establishments who violated these labor policies. Create local policies that protect the rights of the workers in the city including women workers.
On women’s rights and welfare, red light districts must be strictly censored and controlled. Establishments promoting prostitution and sex trafficking should be put to a stop. People behind these establishments should be held accountable. There must be a stricter implementation of women’s desks in the barangay level which can ensure the safety of women and victims of abuse. Allot the 5% Gender and Development (GAD ) fund for women’s capacity building and for the promotion and advancement of women’s and children rights and welfare. Ensure the participation and representation of marginalized women in all government undertakings that concern women. The city government must pass a resolution supporting the House Bill 1483, or the Anti-Discrimination Act.
On drivers, the City government should support the call, especially the Congressman, to stop the phase-out of jeepneys (15 yrs and above) and to create appropriate alternative plan in consultation with the jeepney drivers and operators. Review the policies and systems on smoke belching in the city including the penalties being collected in favor of the jeepney drivers and operators. To enforce TRO while waiting for the Supreme Court decision.***
Photo credits to Luchie Maranan.
Makabayan Metro Baguio Convenor
(074) 422 9754
0920 928 6370