Mayors push amendments to BLISTTDA bill

MAYORS from Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT) are calling for amendments to Senate Bill 1692, which seeks to create a development authority for BLISTT.

Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan expressed the support of the bill but stressed many provisions in the proposed measure should be revised.

“There are a lot of provisions in the bill that the different mayors, local government of BLISTT, do not agree with. One, we do not like an authority which is another bureaucracy over and above,” the mayor stressed during the public hearing conducted by the Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises, which is chaired by Senator Richard Gordon.

Domogan, who heads the BLISTT Development Council, reiterated that the mayors want legal personality of the authority to perform coordination among line agencies and local government units within the BLISTT area.

He also asked not to focus on Baguio and include the LISTT area.

The mayor also asked Baguio Representative Mark Go, proponent of the bill, to define the role of the BLISTTDA to local government units and lines agencies so there will be no overlapping of functions.

In addition, a governing council composed of the elected mayors from the BLISTT will be selected instead of a chairman.

The six mayors of BLISTT also proposed that the chairman should be elected by them, and not appointed by the President, who will have an authority in resolving issues and identify development programs and projects in consultation with the local government units.

Domogan added BLISTT mayors in their resolution said funding should not interfere with those projects funded by line agencies.

BLISTT is a cooperation initiative of Baguio City and the five municipalities of Benguet which seeks to reinforce each of the members’ strengths and advantages in pursuing development, even out economic advances and access to services and effectively address problems transcending political boundaries.

On Friday, the public hearing was attended by the mayors of the BLISTT except for Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan.

Also in attendance were Benguet Representative Ronald Cosalan and Governor Crescencio Pacalso and other stakeholders.

LAUREN ALIMONDO

 

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