Maharlika bars closure pressed anew
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.