Council junks brgy ordinance
The Cebu City Council has junked the ordinance of Barangay Ermita imposing a P10 monitoring fee for every square meter of vending space at the Carbon Market.
The barangay wanted to use the fee to fund the honoraria of barangay workers who will maintain cleanliness and peace and order at the market.
During the September 12 regular session, the council approved the report of its committee on laws, ordinances, and styling that the barangay ordinance violates the Revised Market Code and the Revised Charter of the City of Cebu.
“The Revised Market Code of Cebu City considers the side of streets and/ or sidewalks outside cityowned public markets as part of market premises, and temporary ambulant vendors are under the Cebu City Market Authority,” reads part of the report.
The report was submitted by its chairman, Councilor Sisinio Andales.
Under Barangay Ordinance No. 045-2017, the barangay will create its Vendor’s Operation Monitoring Task Force, which will “sustain and augment the needed personnel onduty 24-hours daily, who shall monitor, report and/or police, to ensure cleanliness/ health and sanitation, traffic, orderliness, security and safety/peace and order concerns of the vendors, consumers, tourists, and bypassers while within vicinity of markets and Barangay Ermita as a whole.”
Captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta said the existing P10 fee “voluntary contribution” from at least 4,000 vendors is not enough to pay the workers assigned to maintain cleanliness, health, sanitation, traffic control, peace and order, and security of the market goers.
Rupinta said the existing P10 “voluntary contribution” is not enough to pay the barangay workers who are cleaning and securing the markets.
A fine of P1,000 will be collected from the vendor who will refuse to pay the monitoring fee, as stipulated in the barangay ordinance.
Andales adopted the legal opinion of the City Legal Office penned by lawyer Bernard Inocentes Garcia and approved by City Attorney Joseph Bernaldez.
In its September 11 legal opinion, the City Legal Office said the barangay ordinance is ultra vires because it is beyond the scope of its taxing powers provided in the Local Government Code of 1991.
While Ermita has the power to impose and collect reasonable fees, lawyer Garcia said the barangay has no power to impose the monitoring fee since it does not own the markets like the Carbon Market, which is owned by the city. Under the city’s Revised Market Code, the sides of streets or sidewalks outside the city-owned public markets are part of the market premises.
Further, the City Legal pointed out that the ordinance is contrary to the Revised Charter of the City of Cebu, which states that the collection of market fees is under the authority of the City Treasurer.
Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia said the barangay did not talk about the monitoring fee, saying it is only a “monitoring fee” that will fund the workers that will maintain cleanliness and peace and order of markets.
“Let’s not curtail the barangay from collecting fees,” he said.
Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera said monitoring fees can be exercised by the barangay just like the city government’s imposition of regulatory fees.
Andales said the barangay can impose fees on markets that are owned by the barangay and not the city-owned markets since the city government is collecting taxes from vendors, which means would make it “double taxation.”
He said the Department of Interior Local Government Code has made a public pronouncement that the barangay cannot impose fees on city-owned markets.
Andales said there are personnel of the city government who can collect garbage at the market.
But Councilor Eduardo Rama said the city government needs the assistance of the barangay where the market is located to keep the market clean since the city does not have enough personnel to do that.
Councilor Margarita Osmeña said it is part of the job of barangay workers to maintain the cleanliness of the market and to secure the barangay. Councilor Jose Daluz III said the market is a different scenario, adding, that Ermita is where the biggest market is located.
“It is chaotic and busy area. It needs fees because just like DPS, we collect garbage fee. The barangay will impose reasonable fee for monitoring just in case the DPS will not collect the garbage at the market,” Daluz said.
Councilor Alvin Arcilla said P10 per square meter is too much considering that the city government is also planning to increase the market fees since the existing P2.50 per square meter is no longer enough.
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