BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring barangay tanods and barangay aides in the city to augment the Baguio city Police Office (BCPO) and the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) personnel on certain days of the months of December, February, March and April or on special city events when visitors flock to the country’s undisputed Summer Capital.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano stated that the proposal intends to augment the local police force in the maintenance of peace and order and cleanliness in the central business district, major parks and tourist destinations, as well as areas where city visitors converge, such as roads and streets, malls, parks, and other destinations around the city.
Under the proposed ordinance, all barangay tanods and barangay aides in the city, as part of their service to the city, shall be made available at all times to render special service as augmentation force to the local police and the CEPMO personnel, to serve as traffic marshals, anti-littering marshals, and to assist visitors, ensure their safety and compliance to local ordinances, resolutions and regulations.
The ordinance tasked the City Administrator’s Office, within 30 days upon approval of the ordinance, to immediately coordinate and convene the BCPO, the Liga ng mga Barangay, Federation of Barangay Tanods, the representative of the business sector and a representative from the transport sector to formulate the implementing rules and regulations to ensure the strict implementation of the local legislative measure.
Further, the annual budgets of the BCPO for police auxiliary and that of the CEPMO shall be adjusted to provide for the compensation of the barangay tanods and barangay aides who will serve as augmentation personnel.
Baguio City has become one of the favourite tourist destination north of Manila for tourists as well as a venue preferred for conferences, seminars and other government and corporate gatherings and activities.
The ordinance stipulated that during the months of December and February, Holy Week, long weekends and on special city events, visitors flock to the city resulting to unprecedented traffic jams, garbage woes and other inconveniences attributed to the sudden convergence of people in a particular place.
The proponent underscored the need for the local government to put in place a mechanism or an automatic support system for the local police force and the CEPMO to ensure sustainable peace and order, cleanliness and sanitation for the convenience of visitors and residents alike.
The ordinance claimed barangay tanods and barangay aides are the most accessible individuals who could be tapped by the local police force and the CEPMO to immediately respond to traffic congestions on roads, streets, parks, and other public places, considering their availability in the concerned barangays, thus, the need to institutionalize the appropriate response that could be made during situations that demand their presence on the ground. /By Dexter A. See