Council urges CDA to ‘urgently’ resolve transport coop’s leadership tussle

The Smoke-Free Baguio Task Force led another round of inspection of vape shops in the city in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry, Food and Drug Administration, Bureau of Internal Revenue-CAR, Baguio City Police Office, Permits and Licensing Division and Public Order and Safety Division on March 9, 2023. The team inspected three establishments that were issued notices of violation. One was found selling unauthorized vape products while the others operated without business permits. They also issued citation tickets to individuals who were chanced upon smoking outside the designated smoking areas. Tobacco control officer Dr. Donnabel Panes said the smoking and vaping problem is a complex one that "needs a whole of government, whole of society solution." The inspections are in line with the implementation of the provisions of Republic Act 11900 (Vape Law), Graphic Health Warning Law, Sin Tax Law, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the Smoke Free Baguio Ordinance. - Neil Ongchangco
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The Baguio City Council has appealed to the Cooperative Development Authority-Cordillera Administrative Region (CDA-CAR) to earnestly resolve the leadership tussle along with other internal and management issues being experienced by the Cordillera Basic Sectors Transport Cooperative (CBSTC).
Earlier, some members of CBSTC had sought the help of the city council regarding the current state of their transport cooperative, accusing incumbent CBSTC chairperson Jude Wal of mismanagement and malversation.
The city council had also been informed there are two sets of officers in the transport cooperative as a result of factions. CBSTC member Rolando Yambot claimed he had been elected as new CBSTC chairperson during their general assembly last January 14.
Amid the escalating leadership impasse and mounting accusations against Wal, the city council had summoned the officers for nother forum, inviting all concerned parties to attend. For the third time, Wal failed to attend the last council forum.
During the forum, CDA-CAR regional director Marieta Hwang disclosed their office could not determine at the moment who are the legitimate officers since both groups had allegedly committed violations in the conduct of their respective elections.
Hwang further revealed that her office attempted to conduct a “unified election” which was initially agreed to by both parties; but last March 6, but Wal’s group informed CDA-CAR of their refusal to participate in the said election. The matter would be referred to the CDA central office for adjudication, she said.
With no final resolution yet by CDA as to who are the legitimate CBSTC officers, LandBank representative Julio Pagat said all withdrawals are suspended and that both groups are not honored by the bank at the moment pending the resolution of the leadership crisis.
Pagat confirmed that CBSTC under Wal’s leadership had been delayed in paying its loan amortizations and that remedial measures such as restructuring and extending the term of the loan may be undertaken to avoid foreclosure.
However, should the transport cooperative continue to fail in settling its loan obligation despite remedial measures applied, the only recourse would be foreclosure, Pagat added.
Recognizing the city council’s lack of contempt power, members of the august body unanimously approved a resolution requesting the senate to probe into the leadership and management crises being experienced by CBSTC. **Jordan G. Habbiling


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