LOBOC, Bohol – Municipal councilor Erwin Baquial minced no words of exposing that this famous rivercruise town under the present administration of Mayor Helen Calipusan Alaba is losing between Php20,000 and Php35,000 a day as a result of the illegal municipal Resolution. Baquial, who is identified with the opposition here, said in his recent privilege speech, “our beloved town is bleeding of approximately P20,000 – P35,000 per day” just to enforce the said measure.
Resolution No. 132-2014, is “giving authority to the Loboc Tourism Office (LTO) Economic Enterprises Operation to grant (an) incentive to any person bringing in guests to avail (of) the Loboc River cruising,” he said.
Baquial has brought to the attention of the provincial lawmakers the said Resolution, which he considered as illegal. It was not known if the said measure was turned down by the provincial board since the municipal council has eyed to change it (Resolution) to an Ordinance or local law, which he suspected that the “same unseen and known hands that is not worth deliberated, in the first place, as it is illegal from the very beginning, pure and simple.”
He said in his text to Bohol News Today “For all intents and purposes it was my last appeal sa akong mga legislative colleagues sa Loboc nga dili epasar and municipal ordinance nga naghatag ug Php50 commission, gikan sa Php100/guest income to anybody nga makadalag guest sa floating restos.”
Baquial lamented that the present administration has already spent about Php4,000 a day or equivalent to Php4 million since Nov. 2014 up to the present just to implement the said Resolution.
“Precious amount from our municipal coffers that could have been utilized to support our commitment to the people to give them better roads, uninterrupted potable water supply to their homes and necessary medical benefits. Instead we give them to private tourist transport van drivers contrary to section 29 (2) of the Constitution,” he said.
He cited the said Constitutional provision, “no money shall be paid out of the treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. The move to grant commission of Php50 per van driver who may bring in tourists is also contrary to Presidential Decree No. 477, which provides that, “public funds and monies shall be spent solely for public purpose.” And “no public money or property shall be appropriated or applied for the benefit of any religious sect and activity nor any other undertaking or purpose of a private character.”
As he urged his colleagues not to approve the said proposed Ordinance, granting commission to van drivers bringing in visitors to river cruise, Baquial said that they (councilors) “should not be beholden, helpless and inutil to the dictates of powers-that-be,” whom he did not identify.
Baquial warned his fellow lawmakers, who are mandated to craft legal measures and not the illegal ones, of legal consequences if the vigilant citizens here to initiate legal suit if they won’t rectify its wrongdoing. “Charges were already filed on some issues at the Ombudsman. I tell you we will be adding nails to our coffins if we support this illegal ordinance.”
He said that the council is supposed to craft good legislation and not enact laws because of political debt they owed to a few. He said they should be submissive to the mandate of the people who vote for them and not subservient to the whims and caprices of the few. (rvo)