Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said he will ask the City Legal Office to review the recommendation of the Sangguniang Committee on Laws to suspend immediately the operation of the Bacolod Baywalk Restaurant and Entertainment Place, at the Reclamation Area in Bacolod City, and to require it to stop collecting fees until it has secured a business permit.
The recommendation contained in the report submitted by Councilor Cesar Distrito, committee chair, was approved Wednesday by the Bacolod SP.
The Committee has also recommended that the Almana Property Development Corp., owner of Baywalk, should secure the Environmental Compliance Certificate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau since its business is located along the shoreline, and to pay other taxes required by law.
Leonardia, however, said he has not yet received the recommendation of the SP. “I want the CLO to take one more look into the report as we do not assume that action on their (SP) recommendation is necessarily automatic on our part,” Leonardia said.
Leonardia also said, “But my position and instructions on this matter had always been clear, that it should go its natural course, meaning whatever the findings are, will always be the basis of our final decision,” he added.
During the March 22 public hearing, APDC legal counsel Dennis Cortes said they have secured a business permit but it is still being corrected.
Permits and Licensing Division officer-in-charge Evelynda Gerogalin said APDC processed its business permit and placed its address somewhere in Lacson Street while Baywalk was not yet in operation.
Distrito’s committee also recommended that APDC should secure an ECC.
In case Baywalk continues to operate without the necessary permit, the CLO will take the necessary action of closing the establishment, he added.
The committee also recommended that the Property Management Committee should conduct an inventory of city government properties in the Reclamation Area, as soon as possible, to determine the rightful owner of the property where Baywalk is located.
It should also study what legal action to take to protect the interest of the city and submit its report/recommendation to the SP, it added.*CGS