The Sangguniang Panlungsod authorized Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella to sign the P90 million garbage hauling contract with Enviroking Corporation, during a special session yesterday.
Councilor Caesar Distrito yesterday said he refused to vote in favor of the contract because under R.A. 9184, before a contractor is allowed to bid, it should have an experience of 50 percent of the Approved Budget of the Contract.
Since the ABC is P90 million, Enviroking should have an experience of P45 million single and not aggregate contract. An Aggregate contract is only allowed if there was a failure of bidding, he said.
In this case, there was no failure of bidding since the Bids and Awards Committee only disqualified the other bidder (IPM Construction) for a minor defect, Distrito said.
“They also included in the experience the hospital waste contract, when the toxic and hospital wastes are supposed to be separated from the general waste. So EnviroKing qualified,” he said.
Distrito said the contract of P90 million will cover 10 months, which means that the city will have to pay Enviroking P9 million a month, regardless of the volume of garbage it will collect.
He cited, for example, that if the garbage truck of the contractor breaks down and it fails to collect garbage for one day, the city will still have to pay it P9 million a month. That is why he voted in the negative, he said.
Distrito said he is in favor of the privatization of garbage collection but not this kind of provision in the contract which he considers disadvantageous to the city.
The contract of the city with Enviroking Corporation on sustainable system of solid waste hauling and disposal services covers the period March 1 to December 31, in the amount of P89,970,000.
Enviroking Corporation general manager Erwin Buot assured the legislators that they will render door-to-door service in the 61 barangays of Bacolod City.
He said they will provide a separate garbage truck to collect garbage in the public markets and a separate one for hospital wastes. He also said they have shipped 20 units of garbage trucks from Manila to Bacolod.
Verdeflor said Enviroking has been collecting the garbage of San Juan, Metro Manila, and other cities in Manila for more than 20 years already.
BAC chairman Jerome Solinap said only Enviroking Corporation qualified because they were informed by Metrowaste Solidwaste Management, whose contract with the city expires today, that it is no longer interested in renewing its contract with Bacolod City.
Present during the special session were Councilors El Cid Familiaran, Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, Sonya Verdeflor, Ana Marie Palermo, Claudio Puentevella, Noli Villarosa, Archie Baribar,and Wilson Gamboa, Jr., who all belong to the majority bock.
Also present were Councilors Roberto Rojas and Alex Paglumotan, Department of Public Services head Josephus Cerna.*CGS
Visayan Daily Star
The Bacolod Sanggunaing Panlungsod passed on first reading yesterday an ordinance “Naming the public building known as the Bacolod City Government Center as the People’s House of Bacolod City,” despite the opposition of Councilor Caesar Distrito.
Distrito, chairman of the SP Committee on Laws, Ordinances and Good Government, said he opposed the move to rename the Bacolod City Government Center citing Section 12 of the Local Government Code which requires local governments to establish a government center.
This is a specific provision that deals with the name of the government center, and therefore renaming it by an ordinance is a violation of the law because an ordinance cannot supersede a law, he said.
While Section 13 of the Local Government Code is a generic provision that deals with public structures, streets and buildings, other than the government center which is already provided in Section 12, he said.
Therefore, if there is a conflict between a specific and generic provision, the specific provision will prevail, Distrito said.
Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, chair of the SP Committee on History, Arts and Culture, said, the status of the building is as is. Only the name was made official, and that the public building of the city is named the People’s House of Bacolod.
Distrito said the history of the edifice shows that the purpose of the same is to name it as government center, and incumbent leaders should at least give some respect to their former leader’s intention.
An informal consultation he conducted showed that people are against renaming the BCGC to People’s House, he said.
The ordinance was jointly authored by Councilors El Cid Familiaran, Archie Baribar, Ana Marie Palermo, Wilson Gamboa, Jr, Batapa-Sigue, Sonya Verdeflor, Claudio Puentevella, and Noli Villarosa, all perceived to be associated with Mayor Monico Puentevella.
The government center costs the city P400 million and was constructed during the administration of then Mayor and now Bacolod Rep. Evelio Leonardia.*CGS
BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO
Visayan Daily Star
A special session will be held at 1:30 p.m. today on the request of Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella for authority for him to sign the contract with Enviroking Corp. for the hauling of garbage in Bacolod City.
Bacolod Councilor Em Ang said the Sangguniang Panlungsod did not act on the request during their session yesterday after Councilor Caesar Distrito pointed out that the copy of the memorandum of agreement between the city and Enviroking Corp. was only submitted to them noontime yesterday so they did not have time to study and scrutinize its content.
Ang said Councilor Archie Baribar wanted the SP to act on the matter since the contract of Enviroking Corp. starts on March 1 and he was concerned that garbage may not be collected.
The deliberation lasted for about 30 minutes because Baribar wanted to also include the ratification of the contract when they had not yet received a request, she said.
Ang said they only received a copy of the MOA at about 11 a.m. yesterday and it was not stated in the contract how much Enviroking Corp. will be charging for garbage collection.
What they are approving is an authority to sign in favor of the city and their function is to provide check-and-balance, and to make sure to scrutinize the content of the contract, she said.
It does not mean they are objecting or not approving the request. They just want the SP members to be given time to read and scrutinize the contract, Ang said.
She recalled that Distrito had called for a public hearing and submitted a committee report before they authorized former Mayor and now Bacolod Rep. Evelio Leonardia to sign the contract with Metrowaste Solidwaste Management.
But Baribar said they do not have enough time since the contract of Enviroking starts on March 1 while the contract of Metrowaste with the city ends tomorrow, she said.
Councilor El Cid Familiaran pointed out that Enviroking charges P89,970,000 which is less by P30,000 than Metro Waste Solid Management Corp., which cost the city P90 million.
Distrito said that it took them another week to ratify the contract of Metrowaste after they conducted a committee hearing and authorized the former Mayor to sign the MOA with the contractor.
He said a representative of the BAC told them that the Mayor has the power to extend the contract of Metrowaste in the exigency of the service.
It is their duty to scrutinize the contract and they want to exercise their function especially that this contract involves P90 million of people’s money, he added.
Distrito said “If the majority will force us to act on it, that is a violation of the rights of the minority.”
They want to provide check-and-balance so, “Let us review it well and afterwards let us make an informed decision after we hear from our resource speakers,” he said.*CGS
BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO
Visayan Daily Star
The plant manager of the Bacolod City Slaughterhouse in Brgy. Handumanan, Bacolod City, was warned by Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella yesterday that the city will terminate the operation of the facility if it fails to comply the provisions of the contract entered into by AVM Bernardo Engineering and the Bacolod City Government.
The city might also take over the operation of the slaughterhouse if it could handle it someday, Puentevella said, during the hearing conducted by the Committee on Markets chaired by Councilor Sonya Verdeflor on the request of AVM Bernardo Engineering to impose 12 percent VAT on slaughtering fees.
Puentevella said he ordered the review of the MOA after the meat shop vendors complained that the slaughterhouse operator plans to pass on to them the 12 percent VAT being imposed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. He asked why they are imposing the 12 percent VAT only now.
He also pointed out that the slaughterhouse operator has not submitted its annual report and evaluation of the operation of the slaughterhouse.
Puentevella said if they do not comply, the city will terminate its operation or allow them to operate, but will put up another slaughterhouse to give the people a choice.
Plant manager Glorydee Cometa said they only imposed the 12 percent VAT recently because it was only early this year that their official receipt was issued.
Marvin Tañada, legal counsel of AVM Bernardo, said this is a national law set forth in Section 105 of the Internal Revenue Code, which states that the VAT is imposed on any trader, manufacturer or retailer and can be passed on to buyers.
Any tax which may be imposed is not inclusive of the slaughtering rates based on Article 4 of Section 15 and is allowed by the MOA, he said.
Michael Yusingco, president of the Meat Vendor's Association of Bacolod, said they oppose the imposition of 12 percent VAT, especially because prices of pork meat have increased.
He said pork meat is P190 to P200 per kilo while beef is P200 per kilo and may reach P226 per kilo if they will be imposed additional taxes.
Aside from the 12 percent VAT imposed by AVM Bernardo, they are paying the city P20 per hog and P60 per cattle daily, he added.
Yusingco said the MOA is disadvantageous to them and to the city. He also complained about the facilities of the slaughterhouse and the way slaughtered animals are being handled.
AVM Bernardo was issued a notice of violation last week by the City Legal Office and asked to correct its violations in accordance with the provisions of the MOA, following its review on the operation of the Bacolod City Slaughterhouse.
The CLO cited that the operator failed to provide the machineries and equipment embodied in the agreement like cold storage facilities; cattle, hog, and poultry line equipment, among others.
Present at the committee hearing were Councilor El Cid Familiaran, acting City Veterinarian Dr. Agueda de la Torre, acting City Treasurer Giovanni Balalilhe, acting Libertad Market Supervisor Portia Familiaran, Burgos Market Supervisor Kong Heng Ting, CLO Asset Management Case Review Committee head Cesar Beloria, and representatives of the CLO, City Health Office.*CGS
BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO
Visayan Daily Star
The Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Markets and Slaughterhouse chaired by Councilor Sonya Verdeflor held a public hearing yesterday on the proposed ordinance granting 20 percent discount to stall awardees or lessees who promptly pay their monthly stall block rentals, a press release from City Hall said.
The proposed ordinance is authored by Councilor El Cid Familiaran, chairman of the Committee on Government Assets.
The measure states that through the passage of City Ordinance No. 407 Series of 2006, City Ordinance No. 589 Series of 2011 and City Ordinance No. 615 Series of 2012, the city has been granting market stall awardees tax relief on the surcharges, interests, penalties and arrearages on their rental obligations. It also provides that those market awardees or lessees who are beneficiaries of such ordinance are not religious or prompt taxpayers, but they have been given by the city tax relief on their unpaid market rentals, the press release said.
The presidents of the market vendors associations operating at the Burgos North Public Market were present to air their concerns, the release also said.
City Administrator Rolando Villamor, City Legal Officer Sarah Villamor, CLO Enforcement Unit Head Rey Demesana and Market Supervisors Portia Familiaran and Kong Heng Ting, were also present, the press release added.*
Visayan Daily Star
The bloodletting activity of Operation Tulong Task Force, the socio-civic arm of Aksyon Radyo Bacolod, generated 117 units of blood in the event held at the Negros Occidental Multi-Purpose Activity Center in Bacolod City February 14, a press release from the station said.
It was in cooperation with the Provincial Health Office Negros First Provincial Blood Center, and the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, and supported by the John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation, Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, 303rd Infantry Brigade Philippine Army, BJMP-NODJ, Bacolod Convention Baptist Bible College, MID Security Agency, barangays 40, 26, 23, Handumanan, Taculing and Banago, Nature’s Spring Water Resources Inc., Bacolod councilors El Cid Familiaran and Jun Gamboa, and the employees and drama talents of the radio station, the press release also said.
Task Force chairman Art Tayhopon said the blood collected will be of a big help to indigent patients, who often troop to the station located in front of the government hospital.
Other members of the task force are Wilma Sugaton, Nona Magbanua, Sunshine Lacson, Felix Campaniel Jr., Henry Espulgar and Johnny Buguina III. For more details, those interested may contact Tayhopon at 434-3861 or 708-1237, the press release added.*
Visayan Daily Star
The installation of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in all public elementary and high schools in Bacolod City is being proposed by Bacolod Councilor El Cid Familiaran.
Familiaran said installing CCTV cameras, or surveillance recordings, in all of the city’s elementary and high schools will be an effective tool in curbing if not preventing crimes in these areas.
He said the employment of CCTV cameras by any entity purposely to record factual evidence of crime has been proven to be effective in deterring acts of lawlessness.
He said the CCTV cameras or video surveillance system to be installed in the public schools should meet the minimum technical standards and should be operated in coordination with the City Mayor’s Office and the Bacolod City Police Office.
The head of the school or its personnel will be prohibited from viewing or using any saved or archived recorded data through camera or video recordings, he said.
The unauthorized disclosure of the identity of any person on video is prohibited, without the order of the proper court, except for the complainant, he added.
He said the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Bacolod had previously passed City Ordinance No. 595, series of 2012, or the “Bacolod City Eye in the Sky Comprehensive Closed Circuit Television Ordinance”.
They also passed C.O. No. 600, series of 2012, or “An Ordinance Requiring all Banks and other Financial Institutions, as well as Certain Business Establishments within the City of Bacolod to install CCTV within their premises,” he said.*CGS
Visayan Daily Star
The oldest couple, who had earlier registered for the mass wedding at the BAYSCenter in Bacolod City on Valentine’s Day, failed to show up.
Corazon Mori, head of the Bacolod Civil Registrar’s Office, yesterday said they do not know why the oldest couple, Sulpicio de la Serna, 79, and Irene Bravo, 53, of Brgy. 29, backed out from the ceremony.
She said a total of 328 couples registered with her office for the mass wedding but when De la Serna and Bravo backed out, they were replaced by Mario Chin, 73 and Annie Diamante, 63 of Barangay Estefania.
Last year, about 2,013 couples exchanged marriage vows at the grounds of the Bacolod City Government Center.
The mass wedding, that started at about 5:25 p.m. yesterday, included persons with disability, among them blind couple Joel Galvan, 44, and Pinky Permesa, 43, who have both been living in the Home for the Blind for eight years.
The Bacolod BAYS Center was transformed into a wedding hall as Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella solemnized the wedding of 327 couples yesterday.
“Marriage need not be expensive; it is measured by your love and commitment to each other,” Puentevella said, as he delivered his words of counsel in front of a jam-packed venue attended by the couples’ family members, relatives and friends.
Several barangay captains were present during the ceremony, with Councilors Claudio Puentevella, Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, Sonya Verdeflor, Ana Marie Palermo, Wilson Gamboa, Jr., El Cid Familiaran, Archie Baribar and some of the city’s executive assistants who stood as their “second parents”.
“The vows that you will make today will last until forever,” Puentevella added before leading the exchange of vows.
Palermo, who saluted the sweethearts’ decision to seal their bond when others choose to end their relationships, lauded them for giving each other the most precious gift in the world: the gift of self.
“Today is the first day of the rest of your married life,” she said.
First lady Josefa Puentevella said that she and the Mayor have been married for 42 years. What made their bond as a family stronger is by placing the Almighty at the center of their lives, she said.
She also recognized the couples for taking the “bold step” in expressing their love publicly.
As an official gesture, the marriage contract of the oldest couple, Chin and Diamante, was signed by the Mayor.
The couple have lived together for 25 years and have an only child named Ana Marie.
Among the couples who joined the mass wedding were Ryan Moreno, 21, and Rizyl Grace Cestina, 22, of Tangub, daughter of broadcaster Henceboy Cestina.
Joseph Gantala, 41, and Lea, 37, of Villa Esperanza, who wore a wedding gown with a veil, were joined by their children Julia, Onyx and Summer, who were dressed up as flower girls and ring bearer.
Puentevella also sang “Ikaw” at the end of the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Puentevella also visited the Bacolod Boys Home and St. Vincent's Home for the Aged yesterday morning to share Valentine's Day with them.
He also serenaded the elders with the song "Mahiwaga ang Buhay ng Tao” and gave a check for P150,000 to the Daughters of Charity running the institution.
DSSD head Pacita Tero said the St. Vincent’s Home for the Aged is one of the nine government organizations being supported by the city.
She said the city has been providing P500,000 for the Boy’s Home every quarter, or P2 million every year, for their food supply, while the St. Vincent’s Home for the aged receives P150,000 a year.*CGS
Visayan Daily Star
The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Bacolod City yesterday approved a resolution congratulating Franz Sarmiento and Katrina Tan Kit for winning in the Google Cloud Developer Challenge 2013 with the entry Mishmash in the “Social/Personal Productivity Games/Fun Category” for Southeast Asia.
The resolution, authored by Councilor El Cid Familiaran, and co-authored by Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said 98 teams participated in the “Google Cloud Developer Challenge 2013” on Sept. 24, 2013.
Among the entries in the Google Cloud Competition Mishmash were the contenders from the Southeast Asian Region that engaged people in Google + circles into three challenges, namely Picture Matching, Word Search and name Scramble, it said.
The resolution said Mishmash emerged among the 12 winners that were awarded from the categories on “Enterprise/Small Business Solutions, Education, not for profit”, and “Social/Personal Productivity Games/Funs.”
One winner from each of the regions was considered, namely, from: India, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, South East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, United States, Europe and the rest of the world, and among the winners are “Bacolodnons” Sarmiento and Tan Kit who received $20,000, it said.
University of St. La Salle-Bacolod, the institution represented by the participants, also received an award of $18,000, it also said.
Also, deserving recognition is the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod, where both Sarmiento and Tan Kit do their studies, the former as fourth year BS Computer Science student, and the latter as fourth year BS Information Technology student, it added.*CGS
Visayan Daily Star
The “new majority” introduced a resolution Wednesday replacing Councilor Cesar Distrito and installing Councilor Archie Baribar as the new majority floor leader of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Bacolod City.
Allies of Mayor Monico Puentevella became the “new majority” with the election of Noli Villarosa as the new Liga nga mga Baragay president, and the postponement of the election of the Sangguniang Kabataan, after the term of its representative, Councilor Keith Ramos, who was allied with Grupo Progreso, ended.
Bacolod Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya yesterday said that under the internal rules, a floor leader is chosen by a vote of the majority of all members of the SP.
A resolution was passed by eight members of Council extending their appreciation to Distrito for having served as floor leader of the SP since July 2013 to Wednesday. After that, they elected Baribar as the new floor leader, he said.
The resolution said Distrito served the Office with “marked idealism, pronounced impartiality and distinct industry. Said exemplary service should not pass unnoticed that other public servants may emulate the same.”
The SP also passed another resolution discharging the Committee on Laws of correspondence No. 08-13-0054 entitled “Amended Consolidated Internal Rules of Sangguniang Panlungsod” and to refer the same to the SP as a whole, by a vote of 8 – 2 with Councilors Em Ang and Alex Paglumotan abstaining.
Gasataya said the majority members of Council decided to pull out from the Committee on Laws the amendment of the internal rules, and for the whole of the SP to act as a committee of the whole to discuss their internal rules, which goes with it the reorganization and other contents of the internal rules.
Both resolutions were proposed by Councilors Archie Baribar, Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, Wilson Gamboa Jr., Sonya Verdeflor, El Cid Familiaran, Claudio Puentevella, Ana Marie Palermo and Noli Villarosa.
Gasataya said they respect whatever is the reason of the eight councilors for changing the floor leader. “This is a rule of the majority. This is a numbers game,” he said.
But as presiding officer, he will try to maintain, as much as possible, the good working relationship in the Council, despite the change in the number of the majority or the minority, he said.
Gasataya said that, in the past, he had been advocating fairness to all members of Council regardless of political affiliation.
Asked for his reaction, Distrito said that is expected because there is a shift of balance. Being floor leader of the SP is a task given by the majority.
“This is all politics. We are governed by the rule of majority and the position of floor leader will always be dependent on the Sangguniang Panlungsod,” said Distrito, who, at the same time, was surprised upon knowing that there was a resolution of thanks and added jokingly that “Una pa ang condolence antes sya mapatay (Condolence was extended even before he was dead).
Distrito also thanked the previous majority and his colleagues in the SP for giving him the mandate to serve as floor leader for the seven months.*CGS
BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO
Visayan Daily Star