BAGUIO CITY – The city council approved on third and final reading a proposed ordinance granting amnesty to applicants for electric and water connections in the city effective May 10, 2016.
Under the approved local legislative measure, applications for amnesty shall be filed with the City Building and Architecture Office (CBAO) in case of electric connections and with the Baguio Water District (BWD) for water connections for evaluation and those qualified will be subsequently required to pay the necessary regulatory fees.
The amnesty for electric and water connections will run through a period of four months from May 10, 2016 and it does not mean condonation for structures in violation of the National Building Code of the Philippines and other related laws.
The ordinance stated the CBAO and other concerned agencies will not be prevented from demolishing the said structures based on other lawful grounds.
Applicants are required to present their tax declarations, if not, he or she must secure a waiver or authority from the registered lot owner, certificate of non-delinquency of tax and barangay certification attesting that the applicant is a resident of the place, that the lot or structure is not in a right-of-way, that the lot or structure is not located in waterways and BWD water facilities or pipelines, that the lot or structure is not under high tension wires and that the lot or structure is not the subject to demolition or had been previously demolished.
However, indigent applicants certified by their respective punong barangays and the city social welfare and development office will be entitled to a 50 percent discount on the professional fees and labor cost being charged by the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines member and practitioners but the same does not apply to the fees being charged by the CBAO pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations.
In lieu of the certificate of final electrical inspection being used to those with occupancy and building permits, the ordinance provided that a certificate of electrical inspection will be issued by the CBAO.
The ordinance specified that the amnesty for electric and water connections shall not apply to structures built in forest reservations, watersheds, other properties identified as government or military reservations and those who squatted within titled private properties.
It was emphasized that the amnesty shall apply only to structures built on or before the effectivity of the ordinance based on CBAO inventory and barangay certification issued for such purpose.
Majority of the councillors agreed that the amnesty for electric and water connections will be effective right after the May 9, 2016 general and automated elections to prevent the issue from being used by some local legislators as their vehicle in getting the votes of the electorates in the different barangays of the city./Dexter A. See