Ma­har­lika bars clo­sure pressed anew

Sun.Star Baguio - - Topstories - Baguio City PIO re­lease

MEM­BERS of the Baguio City Coun­cil wants the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the Ma­har­lika Liveli­hood Cen­ter and its lessees to stop the op­er­a­tion of bars and other es­tab­lish­ments serv­ing liquor in­side the gov­ern­ment fa­cil­ity be­cause the same is in vi­o­la­tion of ex­ist­ing or­di­nances.

The lo­cal leg­isla­tive body de­lib­er­ated a res­o­lu­tion au­thored by Coun­cilor Edgar M. Avila call­ing for the strict im­ple­men­ta­tion of Sec­tions 134 and 139 of Tax Or­di­nance No. 2000-01

by the City Per­mits and Li­cens­ing Di­vi­sion and for the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture’s Hu­man Set­tle­ments De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion to in­ven­tory the restau­rants, bars, pubs, videoke houses and bil­liards halls op­er­at­ing at the Ma­har­lika Liveli­hood Cen­ter and de­ter­mine their re­spec­tive au­thor­i­ties to op­er­ate from the DA-HSDC and the lo­cal gov­ern­ment, as well as for con­cerned au­thor­i­ties to take ac­tion.

Ear­lier, con­cerned bar own­ers and op­er­a­tors of es­tab­lish­ments op­er­at­ing in the fa­cil­ity had a dia­logue with Mayor Mauri­cio Do­mo­gan wherein the lo­cal chief ex­ec­u­tive gave the said es­tab­lish­ments un­til the end of this year to op­er­ate and that there will be no busi­ness per­mit is­sued by the City Per­mits and Li­cens­ing Di­vi­sion to them for sim­i­lar pur­poses next year un­less they change their line of busi­ness al­lowed in the said area.

The HSDC re­port­edly leased the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th floors of the Ma­har­lika Liveli­hood Cen­ter to Pablo Palang­dao Busi­ness Cor­po­ra­tion for the lat­ter to op­er­ate the said por­tions of the gov­ern­ment prop­erty with a mea­gre rental of less than P200,000.

Ma­har­lika Liveli­hood Cen­ter of­fi­cials as­sured the mem­bers of the lo­cal leg­isla­tive body the en­tity will com­ply with the terms and con­di­tions of the agree­ment reached with the lo­cal chief ex­ec­u­tive but urged the per­son­nel of the City Per­mits and Li­cens­ing Di­vi­sion to im­ple­ment the terms of the agree­ment once the per­mits of the said es­tab­lish­ments will ex­pire by the end of the year.

Lo­cal leg­is­la­tors claimed the op­er­a­tion of the bars and other liquor es­tab­lish­ments in the up­per floors of the Ma­har­lika Liveli­hood Cen­ter al­legedly con­trib­uted to the in­creas­ing liquor-re­lated crimes be­ing com­mit­ted in the cen­tral busi­ness district, thus, the need for the even­tual stop­page of op­er­a­tion of such es­tab­lish­ments to con­tribute in ef­forts of the lo­cal gov­ern­ment and the Baguio |city Po­lice Of­fice (BCPO) to re­duce the petty crimes be­ing com­mit­ted in the city’s com­mer­cial district.

It will be re­called that the lo­cal gov­ern­ment en­tered into a con­tract with the for­mer Min­istry of Set­tle­ments headed by for­mer first Lady and now Ilo­cosNorte 2nd district Rep. Imelda Ro­mualdez-Mar­cos for the put up of the Ma­har­lika Liveli­hood Cen­ter in a city-owned lot right at the heart of the city to serve as a busi­ness cen­ter for lo­cal traders. The said con­tract is set to ex­pire by 2025 and that the fa­cil­ity will be even­tu­ally turned over to the lo­cal gov­ern­ment af­ter the lapse of the agree­ment.

The lo­cal leg­isla­tive body de­cided to in­vite Palang­dao to shed light on its ex­ist­ing con­tract with HSDC and the au­thor­ity al­low­ing the op­er­a­tion of bars and other liquor serv­ing es­tab­lish­ments in the fa­cil­ity de­spite ex­ist­ing rules and reg­u­la­tions that pro­hibit the same.

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