Mayor John Dalipe, who chairs the Zamboanga City Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (ZCTIPC) presided a dialogue with micro-entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to thresh out concerns and come up with acceptable solutions related to the implementation of a city ordinance prohibiting parking on streets.
The dialogue, held at the City Hall conference room Monday, July 31, was facilitated by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-9) and was based on the entrepreneurs’ appeal for the city to revisit Ordinance 601 citing its effects on business operations.
The businessmen expressed concern that the clearing operations, coupled with the lack of parking spaces have disrupted businesses in the city’s commercial district.
Representatives from the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the City Administrator’s Office comprehensively discussed the rationale of the ordinance citing DILG Memorandum Circular 2019-21 that directs all local government units to remove all road obstructions, pursuant to a presidential directive issued in his 4th State of the Nation Address by former President Rodrigo Duterte and reiterated by the current administration.
Mayor Dalipe said the city government has risked administrative and criminal sanctions following 8 issuances/ notices from the DILG on road clearing operations since 2019.
It is for this reason, he said, that Ordinance 601 was enacted on March 13, 2023, amending Ordinance 248 which used to allow one sided parking for private vehicles and the use of city streets as terminals for public utility vehicles.
Nonetheless, Mayor Dalipe assured that the city government is aggressively pursuing negotiations with private lot owners for the provision of additional parking spaces in the city to address the concerns of businessmen and vehicle owners.
The mayor likewise vowed to work out with concerned authorities on the proposals of the entrepreneurs pertaining to pick and go or loading and unloading considerations as well as the possible grant of tax holidays to lot owners who allow the use of their properties for parking spaces.
Meanwhile, Jun Cillo, DILG Chief of Operations, affirmed the city’s stance on the issue, saying that the ordinance is based on a presidential directive and that nobody is exempted from the law.
He said Mayor Dalipe and the City Government would be facing administrative sanctions under section 60 of the Local Government Code and criminal charges under RA 3019 or the anti-graft and corrupt practices act if the latter will not comply with the DILG directive.
“We are just following orders from the Office of the President,” Cillo said, adding: “The effort of the local government through Mayor Dalipe to repeal the one-side parking rule is very laudable.”
Present during the dialogue were DOLE-9 Assistant Regional Director Imelda Gatinao, Nena Alabata of the DOLE-ZC Field Office, representatives from the business sector, Federation of Land Transportation of Zamboanga (FELTRANZ) President Eduardo Mingala and members of the ZCTIPC among others. (Sheila Covarrubias)