Er­mita mea­sure struck down

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - by Jose Santino S. Bu­na­chita RE­PORTER

THE Cebu City Coun­cil has dis­ap­proved the new­ly­passed or­di­nance of Barangay Er­mita im­pos­ing a manda­tory P10 per square me­ter “mon­i­tor­ing fee” on ven­dor stalls at the Car­bon Public Mar­ket.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­mit­tee on laws and the Cebu City le­gal of­fice, the or­di­nance was “ul­tra vires” or be­yond the le­gal power or au­thor­ity of the barangay to en­act.

In a com­mit­tee re­port, ap­provedby theCity Coun­cil last week, the com­mit­tee on laws pointed to City Or­di­nance No. 1486 or the Re­vised Mar­ket Code of Cebu City, which says that the city trea­surer shall ex­er­cise ad­min­is­tra­tion and con­trol over the col­lec­tion of all mar­ket fees in the city.

The Re­vised Mar­ket Code of Cebu City con­sid­ers the side of streets and/or side­walks out­side city-owned public mar­kets as part of mar­ket premises, and puts tem­po­rary am­bu­lant ven­dors un­der the Cebu City Mar­ket Au­thor­ity.

Last Au­gust 15, Barangay Er­mita passed Barangay Or­di­nance No. 045-2017 man­dat­ing a “ven­dor’s op­er­a­tion mon­i­tor­ing fee” to sus­tain and aug­ment on-duty barangay per­son­nel which are needed by the vil­lage.

Er­mita of­fi­cials said that the fee was nec­es­sary to sus­tain 24-hour, on-duty per­son­nel to en­sure the mar­ket’s clean­li­ness, health and san­i­ta­tion, or­der­li­ness, se­cu­rity, safety, and peace or­der, among others.

The com­mit­tee on laws’ re­port was based on the le­gal opin­ion of City Hall lawyer Bernard Ino­centes Gar­cia, as ap­proved by City Le­gal Of­fi­cer Joseph Ber­naldez.

In an eight-page opin­ion, the City Le­gal Of­fice said that Er­mita’s or­di­nance was be­yond the scope of the tax­ing pow­ers of the barangay.

Although barangays have the power to im­pose

taxes, the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Code states that it is only for prop­er­ties or ar­eas that are un­der their ju­ris­dic­tion, the le­gal opin­ion read.

“(It is also) un­fair and or op­pres­sive as it col­lects fees from mar­ginal farm­ers or fish­er­men in vi­o­la­tion of the Code,” it added.

The opin­ion also stated that all city-owned mar­kets are un­der the scope of the City Trea­surer’s Of­fice in­clud­ing the im­me­di­ate vicin­ity of these mar­kets.

The Car­bon Public Mar­ket, which is lo­cated in Barangay Er­mita, is owned and man­aged by the Cebu City gov­ern­ment.


Coun­cilors Jo­ce­lyn Pes­quera and Jose “Joey” Daluz III, both lawyers, aired their sup­port for Barangay Er­mita dur­ing the Coun­cil de­lib­er­a­tions.

Pes­quera said the barangay can im­pose a mon­i­tor­ing fee sim­i­lar to the reg­u­la­tory fees be­ing col­lected by City Hall.

For his part, Daluz said that the Car­bon Public Mar­ket is al­ready “chaotic” and needs the as­sis­tance of the barangay.

But the im­po­si­tion of a P10-per square me­ter mon­i­tor­ing fee should be re­viewed, said Daluz, to pos­si­bly make it just a one-time fee.

Laws Com­mit­tee chair­per­son, Coun­cilor Sisinio An­dales, how­ever, stood pat that the im­po­si­tion of fees by a barangay can only be done on barangay mar­kets and not on mar­kets owned by the city.

For Coun­cilor Mar­garita Os­meña, en­sur­ing peace and or­der and main­tain­ing clean­li­ness in the barangay should al­ready form part of the du­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of ex­ist­ing barangay per­son­nel like tan­ods and garbage load­ers.

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