By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY– Beginning the fourth Monday of August and every fourth Monday of the month, the City Council approved the conduct of a Carless Monday in the premises of the city hall on an experimental basis prior to the implementation of Carless Days in other major roads in the central business district area.
The move is to ascertain the compliance of local officials and employees to the environmental preservation and protection program before expanding the coverage of the Carless Day to other major roads in the different parts of the city.
The proposal to conduct the Carless Monday on an experimental basis stemmed from the proposed ordinance of Councilor Elaine Sembrano allowing the conduct of a Carless Day in all roads around the city to help in efforts to preserve and protect the city’s state of the environment.
Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria Yaranon proposed that the Carless Day will be implemented on a Monday so that all local officials and employees will be covered since there are only a few local legislators who are reporting to their offices on Fridays.
During Carless Monday, no private and public vehicles will be parked in the parking areas of city hall and its premises to allow the environment to be free from pollutants and that the Committee concerned shall report out proposed penal or regulatory ordinances in due and proper form of publication in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the city before the same shall again be calendared for second reading and be considered by the local legislative body.
Members of the local legislative body asserted that it must be made sure that local officials and employees will strictly adhere to the conduct of the Carless Monday so that it will be easier for the public to be convinced in complying with the implementation of Carless Day in the city once the ordinance will be enacted.
The ordinance noted that local officials and employees can use their motor vehicles from their residences to the central business district area but they will not be allowed to park their vehicles in their designated parking slots in the city hall compound, thus, they have to look for available parking areas where they could park their vehicles before proceeding to their offices either on foot or through public transport.
Among the institutions that are implementing Carless Days in the city include the University of the Philippines College Baguio (UPCB) every Wednesday and the offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in Gibraltar every Thursday.
Other proposed ordinances are also pending before the concerned committees of the local legislative body allowing the implementation of a Carless Friday along the whole stretch of Session Road but the same has not yet been calendared for deliberation by the local legislators.
The local legislative body tasked the concerned committee to consolidate all pending proposals for the implementation of a Carless Day so that the same will be discussed by the members once the experimental implementation of Carless Monday in city hall will be successful.