THE removal of streamers from skywalks in parts of Cebu City on Sunday, July 19, 2020, has made some Bando Osmen~a Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) allies unhappy.
Armando Virgil Ligutan, BOPK legal counsel, said the Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification and Enhancement (Probe) personnel should have informed the concerned barangay officials that they were taking down the streamers, which bore health protocol reminders.
Ligutan said the streamers were part of the barangays’ information dissemination campaign on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
He said: “IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) wants our barangays to be proactive in their fight against Covid-19 and our barangays put up the tarps in compliance with that directive. So why did City Hall remove the tarps?”
City Attorney Rey Gealon, Mayor Edgardo Labella’s spokesman, said anyone who puts up streamers, tarpaulins, banners and similar materials in the city must first require a permit from the Office of the Building Office (OBO) as provided for under City Ordinance 1656, or the Zoning Ordinance.
Labangon Barangay Captain Victor Buendia said the Probe should have informed him and other barangay officials that they couldn’t put up a streamer without a permit.
“The Cebu City Probe team removed our barangay Covid-19 information tarp posted at the skywalk as part of our initiative to remind constituents to always wear masks outside, wash their hands and observe social distancing to avoid virus infection. I don’t know why Probe removed the tarp without coordinating with the barangay,” Buendia told SunStar Cebu.
Calamba Barangay Captain Victor Quijano Jr., for his part, said they were willing to remove the streamer voluntarily if they violated any regulation.
The streamers were installed at skywalks in Barangays Kalubihan, Calamba, Bulacao, Labangon and Pardo whose barangay captains are allied with BOPK.
Gealon said streamers were removed since these were placed at skywalks along major thoroughfares.
He urged barangay captains to apply for a permit at the OBO since the ordinance, which was enacted in 1996 yet, does not exempt anyone.
He said politics was not involved in the removal of the streamers. (JJL)