Lawmakers now start to act on Sara’s priority bills

THE CITY Council here is beginning to act on priority bills highlighted by Mayor Sara Duterte on her state of the city address two weeks ago.

Majority floorleader Bernard Al-ag, speaking to reporters at the weekly Pulong Pulong ni Pulong forum at the Councilors’ Lounge, said lawmakers will introduce this week three priority items.

Among these is the request of Apo Agua to convert five hectares of agricultural land in Barangay Gumalang into an industrial site for them to operate a water treatment plant. The Apo Agua item was scheduled for second reading during Tuesday’s regular session.

The City Council will also start discussions on the declaration of certain streets as no parking areas, as well as the conversion of the sodium lights into LEDs.

Meanwhile, Al-ag said the Davao Light and Power Company conducted initial talks to begin public hearings on the proposal.

During her speech, Mayor Duterte asked the City Council to pass an ordinance prohibiting parking in some areas, while also giving tax breaks for businesses that operate parking businesses to help decongest the streets.

Incentives include five-year tax breaks for operators of private parking lots.

In the city’s outskirts, business operators will also be encouraged to operate truck stops to help decongest major highways during truck bans where large vehicles are not allowed entry into the city in areas such as Toril and Catalunan Pequeno.

Under the LED lights proposal, lawmakers want to ask the city government to do the purchasing, aiming to reduce electricity bills. The effort could cost as much as P700 million on the part of the power utility firm. But this will also translate to savings of around 30% to 40% on the part of the city.

The city currently spends around P18 million per month for the 30,000 streetlights here. This translates to around P200 million per year in electricity bills, Al-ag said.

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