BAGUIO CITY – Local officials and concerned stakeholders in the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area were urged to salvage the proposed law creating the BLISTT Development Authority by getting their acts together for the removal of the objectionable provisions and retain the good ones to pave the way for inclusive growth within the jurisdictional coverage, Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said here recently.
The local chief executive pointed out some local officials in the BLISTT expressed their objections to some of the provisions of the proposed law filed with the House of Representatives thus it is best for them to get together and identify the objectionable provision and propose alternatives to guarantee the enactment of the law that will surely be beneficial to the concerned local governments.
“We have to salvage the bill because most of its contents are good. We have to closely work together to assess the bill, iron out the provisions that seem not to be helpful in the realization of the BLISTT Development Authority and propose alternative provisions that will improve the said items in the bill,” Domogan stressed.
Earlier, the Itogon municipal council passed a resolution interposing several objections to some of the contents of the bill creating the BLISTT Development Authority, particularly the requirement for the member local governments to shell out an annual 5 percent from their annual budgets to sustain the management, administration, and operation of the authority.
Domogan also learned that other local governments are also intending to come out with similar resolutions interposing an objection to the provision and these might derail its desired passage into law in the 17th Congress.
According to him, even the city’s finance officers raised concern over the provisions being questioned by other local officials, saying that the best thing to do is for them to unite on the matter and propose a possible alternative which they will have to discuss the soonest while the bill is still pending before the House committee on local governments.
One of Domogan’s suggestions is for the proponents of the BLISTT Development Authority bill to incorporate in the provisions of the proposed law the contents of the memorandum of understanding that was signed by all the local chief executives of the BLISTT to at least start the operation of the BLISTT Governing Board and the BLISTT Development Council which conduct meetings periodically to discuss the concrete priority programs and projects in the said growth area.
Earlier, the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera approved the creation of the BLISTT Governing Board and the BLISTT Development Council to jumpstart the work that will result in the realization of the long overdue proposal to create the Metro Baguio growth area./By Dexter A. See#