EXCERPTS FROM THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR SESSION OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD OF OLONGAPO, HELD ON FEBRUARY 25, 2009 AT THE CITY HALL
Hon. Cynthia G. Cajudo- - - - - - - - - - - - - - City Vice-Mayor & Presiding Officer
Hon. Gina G. Perez - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - City Councilor
Hon. John Carlos G. Delos Reyes- - - - - - - - “ “
Hon. Rodel S. Cerezo- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - “ “
Hon. Sarah Lugerna Lipumano–Garcia - - - - “ “
Hon. Edwin J. Piano - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - “ “
Hon. Aquilino Y. Cortez, Jr.- - - - - - - - - - - - “ “
Hon. Anselmo A. Aquino- - - - - - - - - - - - - - “ “
Hon. Elena C. Dabu- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - “ “
Hon. Jonathan G. Manalo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - “ “
Hon. Carlito A. Baloy- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - President, Liga ng mga Barangay
Hon. Cheenee F. Hoya- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SK Federation President
Hon. Angelito W. Baloy - - - - - - - - - - - - - - City Councilor
Call to Order
The City Vice-Mayor and Presiding Officer Cynthia G. Cajudo called the session to order at 4:25 in the afternoon.
With eight (8) members and the Presiding Officer present, a quorum was declared. However, Councilors Cerezo, Cortez and Manalo arrived during The Approval Of The Minutes of the Previous Regular Session.
Reading and Adoption of Minutes
The minutes of the regular sessions dated January 28 and February 04, 2009 were unanimously adopted by the body, respectively, on motion of Councilor Gina G. Perez.
Reading and Approval of the Day’s Agenda
Before the approval of the day’s agenda, Councilor Gina G. Perez read the items on 1st and 2nd reading, to wit:
1. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-027 – A Resolution Opposing The Commissioning Of The Moth-Balled Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Sponsored by Councilor John Carlos Delos Reyes. (Referred to the Committee on Environment)
2. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-028 – A Resolution Approving The Work And Financial Plan For Calendar Year 2009 Of The Olongapo City Disaster Coordinating Council. Sponsored by Councilor Rodel S. Cerezo. (Referred to the Committee on Peace and Order)
3. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-029 – A Resolution Approving The Container Van-Office At The Engineering Compound As One Of The Priority Projects For The Budget Year 2009. Sponsored by Councilors Anselmo A. Aquino, Edwin J. Piano and Rodel S. Cerezo. (Referred to the Committee on Public Works and Engineering)
4. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-030 – A Resolution Endorsing The Interconnection Of Telecommunications Facilities Of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Growth Corridor. Sponsored by Councilor Edwin J. Piano. (Referred to the Committee on Telecommunications)
5. Draft Ordinance No. 2009 O-12 – An Ordinance Appropriating The Amount Of Four Million Seven Hundred Eighty Five Thousand Nine Hundred Eighty One Pesos And Forty Nine Centavos (PhP4,785,981.49) To The 20% Development Fund-Capital Outlay From The Unappropriated Balance Of The 2009 Budget For The Priority Projects For Budget Year 2009. Sponsored by Councilor Jonathan D. Manalo. (Referred to the Committee on Appropriations)
6. Draft Ordinance No. 2009 O-13 – An Ordinance Reverting The Amount Of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP100.000.00) From The Item Capital Outlay- Other Machineries And Equipment To The Item Personal Services – Vacation And Sick Leave Benefits Of The Olongapo City Public Market. Sponsored by Councilor Jonathan D. Manalo. (Referred to the Committees on Markets and on Appropriations)
7. Draft Ordinance No. 2009 O-14 – An Ordinance Authorizing The Charging Of The Previous Year’s Obligations In The Amount Of Nine Million One Hundred Eighty Three Thousand Five Hundred Sixty Four Pesos And Sixty Eight Centavos (PhP9,183,564.68) Of The Different Departments To The 2009 Unappropriated Balance Of The General Fund. Sponsored by Councilor Jonathan D. Manalo. (Referred to the Committees on Ways and Means and on Appropriations)
1. Draft Ordinance No. 2009 O-04 – An Ordinance Prohibiting The Sale, Use, Installation And Display Of Buntings, Pennants And Other Decorative Objects Made With Plastic And Non-Biodegradable Materials Along The Streets, Roads And Public Spaces Within The City Of Olongapo. Sponsored by Councilor Aquilino Y. Cortez, Jr.
2. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-016 – A Resolution Authorizing Mr. Dante Ramos, ESMO – Head To Represent The City Of Olongapo In Filing Criminal And/Or Administrative Cases Against Erring Officials Of The Olongapo City National High School (OCNHS) As Well As Certain Private Individuals In Connection With The Felling Of Various Trees In OCNHS Without The Knowledge Much Less Approval Of The City Government. Sponsored by The Majority Party
3. Draft Ordinance No. 2009 O-09 – An Ordinance Declaring The Area Under The Arcade Roof At The Gordon Avenue Side Of The Olongapo City Mall As Leasable Space And Approving Their Corresponding Rates. Sponsored by Councilor Angelito W. Baloy
4. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-023 – A Resolution Adopting RA 9485 Otherwise Known As The Anti-Red Tape Act Of 2007 For Proper Implementation In The City Of Olongapo. Sponsored by Councilor Gina G. Perez
5. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-024 – A Resolution Conferring The Title “Adopted Daughter Of Olongapo City” To Hon. Carissa Coscolluela, Representative, Buhay Partylist, For Her Magnanimous Contributions In The City. Sponsored Unanimously
6. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-025 – A Resolution Approving The Annual Budget Of Barangay West Bajac-Bajac, City Of Olongapo For The Calendar Year 2009. Sponsored by Councilor Edwin J. Piano
7. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-026 – A Resolution Approving The List Of City Infrastructure Projects For Cy 2009. Sponsored by Councilors Anselmo A. Aquino, Edwin J. Piano And Rodel S. Cerezo
8. Draft Ordinance No. 2009 O-10 – An Ordinance Creating The Anti-Red Tape Board To Oversee The Implementation Of Republic Act 9485 Otherwise Known As The Anti-Red Tape Act Of 2007 (An Act To Improve Efficiency In The Delivery Of Government Service To The Public By Reducing Bureaucratic Red Tape Preventing Graft And Corruption, And Providing Penalties Therefor). Sponsored by Councilor Gina G. Perez
9. Draft Ordinance No. 2008 O-06 – An Ordinance Establishing The Dental Health Section Under The City Health Department. Sponsored by Councilors Gina G. Perez and Angelito W. Baloy
The body unanimously approved the Day’s Agenda.
Communications and Referrals of Business
1. Resolution No. 31, Series of 2008 of Barangay West Bajac-Bajac, Olongapo City entitled: “A Resolution Authorizing The Release Of PhP70,000.00 For The Payment Of Services Of Marching Band (Banda 46) For December 29-30, City Fiesta Parade Chargeable To Tourism Allocation For 2008.” (Referred to the Committee on Appropriations for review)
2. Letter from Audie S. Sundiam, Punong Barangay, Bgry. New Cabalan, Olongapo City, addressed to the Hon. City Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. informing that Mr. Lloyd D. Nicdao, who filed a complain against Ms. Perla Jacinto, Barangay Treasurer of New Cabalan, for alleged manipulation of SK funds and abuse of authority is not a member of the Katipunan ng mga Kabataan, he being not a registered voter and resident of Barangay New Cabalan. (Referred to the Committees on SK and on Laws)
3. Letter from Engr. Marivic J. Nierras, Officer-In-Charge, CPDO, addressed to the Hon. City Vice Mayor Cynthia G. Cajudo, which pertains to the on-going preparation of the City Transportation Master plan being undertaken by the CPDO together with the City Engineer’s Office, Office of the Traffic Management and Public Safety and Department of Public Works and Highways. They are requesting existing ordinances and resolutions related to traffic management enacted from 2004 up to the present and existing ordinances and resolutions related to bicycles like registration, parking, etc. (Referred to the Committees on Transportation and on Public Works and Engineering)
4. Resolution No. 006, Series of 2009 of Barangay Old Cabalan, Olongapo City, entitled: “A Resolution Granting Clearance To Mr. Angelino J. Ducos To Conduct Quarry Operation Within His Private Property Situated At North West Of Sitio Mangpueng, Purok 14, Old Cabalan, Olongapo City.” (Referred to the Committees on Environment, on Business and on Ways and Means)
5. First Endorsement from the City Mayor, addressed to the Hon. City Vice Mayor Cynthia G. Cajudo and Members of this Council the copy of the Contract Of Affiliation to be entered into by and between Subic Bay Colleges, Inc. (SBCI) represented by its President, Fernando F. Julian, Sr. and James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH) represented by the City Mayor. (Referred to the Committees on Laws and on Health)
6. First Endorsement from the Hon. Mayor, addressed to the Vice Mayor and this body, the copy of draft resolution, “A Resolution Authorizing Mr. Dante Ramos, ESMO-Head to represent the City of Olongapo in filing criminal and/or administrative cases against erring officials of the Olongapo City National High School (OCNHS) as well as certain private individuals in connection with the felling of various trees in OCNHS without the knowledge much less approval of the city government. (Referred to the Committees on Laws and on Environment)
7. First Endorsement from the City Mayor, addressed to this body copy of the Memorandum of Agreement entered into by and between the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) and the City Government of Olongapo for Socio-Economic Impact of Local Intra Migration Research Study. (Referred to the Committees on Laws and on Social Welfare)
8. Letter from the Hon. City Mayor, addressed to this body requesting to consider an ordinance reverting the amount PhP100,000.00 from the item Other Machinery & Equipment under Capital Outlay to the item Vacation and Sick Leave Benefits under Personal Services of the Olongapo City Public Market. (Referred to the Committees on Appropriations and on Markets)
9. Memorandum from Angelito B. Layug, Chief, DMO, Executive Officer, CDCC, addressed to All Department Heads regarding the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSEQD) on February 24, 2009, 9:00 A.M. at the Ferdinand M. Aristorenas (FMA) Hall. (For information)
10. Memorandum from Councilor Gina G. Perez, PCL Chapter President, Olongapo City Chapter for the Hon. James Gordon, Jr. and City Vice Mayor Cynthia G. Cajudo regarding the Leadership Excellence Award. (Referred to the Committees on Rules and Privileges and on Education)
11. Letter from the City Mayor, addressed to the Hon. City Vice Mayor and members of this body to consider an ordinance authorizing to charge the previous year’s obligation of the various departments in the amount of PhP9,183,564.68 to the 2009 Unappropriated Balance of the General Fund and appropriating the same. (Referred to the Committee on Appropriations)
12. Letter from the Hon. City Mayor, addressed to the Hon. City Vice Mayor requesting the Sangguniang Panlungsod to consider a resolution approving the Container Van – Office at the Engineering Compound as one of the Priority Projects for Budget Year 2009 and authorizing the charging of the same to the 20% Development Fund and also requesting the Sangguniang Panlungsod to consider an ordinance appropriating the amount of PhP4,785,981.49 to the 20% Development Fund – Capital Outlay from the Unappropriated Balance of the 2009 Budget.
Container Van – Office at the Engineering Compound PhP1,846,802.70
Approved 2009 Priority Projects 2,939,178.79
(Referred to the Committees on Public Works and on Appropriations)
13. Memorandum from Hon. Elena C. Dabu, City Councilor, Co-Chair, Olongapo City Local Price Coordinating Council, addressed to All The Members Of Olongapo City Local Price Coordinating Council regarding the Monitoring and Inspection of alleged selling of expired medicines by drugstores/establishment surrounding the James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital area, which will be held tomorrow, February 26, 2009, 9:00 A.M., meeting place will be at the City Hall lobby. (Referred to the Committee on Health)
14. Letter from Alicia S. Javier, Secretary to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan-Bulacan, Past National President, PLEASES, Inc., Chairman, Ways and Means Committee – PLEASES National Convention 2009, addressed to the Hon. City Vice Mayor Cynthia G. Cajudo forwarding the Resolution No. 2009-01 of the Philippine League of Secretaries to the Sanggunian, Inc. (PLEASES) Region III Chapter requesting all governors, vice-governors, mayors and vice mayors of the 7 provinces, 13 cities and 117 municipalities of Central Luzon for financial assistance or fund allocation from any available government funds to serve as “assistance to PLEASES, Inc.-Region III Chapter.” PLEASES Region III Chapter is assigned to host this year’s National Convention of the League which will gather all the Sanggunian secretaries from the 81 provinces, 118 cities and 1,510 municipalities of the country to be held in Oxford Hotel at Clarkfield, Pampanga in June. (Referred to the Committee on Appropriations)
15. Letter from Rosalie P. Perkins, RSW, Social Welfare Officer I, addressed to Atty. Angelito R. Orozco, City Legal Officer, City Legal Office, Olongapo City which pertains to the case they filed to Lollipop Bar last November 10, 2008 at Prosecutor’s Office and she is informing that the case was dismissed. Attached is a copy of the resolution of the case from the prosecutor’s office for evaluation and ready reference. (Referred to the Committees on Legal Matters and on Social Welfare)
16. Letter from Francis Xavier Mercado, Lifetraxx, addressed to the Hon. City Vice Mayor Cynthia G. Cajudo introducing a revolutionary way of reducing the costs of electricity as well as vehicle and household fuel consumption by at least 20%. Their gadgets have been tested as effective as manifested by the numerous experiences and testimonies of their customers and requesting to conduct a product presentations for the following products:
a. Lifetraxx Energy Saver
b. Lifetraxx Fuel Saver
(Referred to the Committees on Utilities and on Business)
17. Memorandum 115 dated 23 February 2009, issued by City Councilor Angelito W. Baloy, Committee Chairman on Business and Economic Enterprises, Health & Public Welfare for Ms. Elenito Ordonio (Chief, DTI Zambales Provincial Office), Mr. Neal Perez (Head, Business Permits Office), Dr. Arnildo Tamayo (Head, City Health Office) regarding alleged selling of expired medicines by drugstores/establishments surrounding the James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital Area. Councilor Gie Baloy is requesting to conduct an immediate joint random inspection on the various drugstores/establishments surrounding the James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital.
As Committee Chair on Women, Councilor Dabu reported before the body where a meeting of the Women’s Council was held last Tuesday at the Session Hall. The discussion centered on the celebration of the Women’s Month for the whole month of March. She narrated the events scheduled for the month as follows:
• March 2 – Formal Launching at the Flag Raising Ceremony – Rizal Triangle
• March 4 - Community Building Women – BUKLOD
• March 5 - Dialogue with the City Prosecutor, PNP Women’s Desk, CSWDO, JLGMH personnel, regarding Republic Acts 9208, 9262 and 9344 at Max’s Restaurant
• March 6 – First Friday Mass – Sponsored by Women’s Council together with the Sangguniang Panlungsod and Civil Registry - 12:00 noon
• March 9 – Livelihood Training at W.B.B. covered court c/o Vice Mayor Cajudo
• March 10 – International Women’s Month Celebration Activities: Kick-off Parade – 7:00 a.m., City Mall to Rizal Triangle, Job Fair, Medical Mission, Mobile registration, awarding of Livelihood financial assistance.
• March 12 – Buntis Party – 1:30 p.m. FMA Hall – 155 participants from 17 Barangays. Orientation Seminar with Free Kits for Babies
• March 17 – Gender Sensitivity Training and Violence Against Women, Buklod Center – Sponsor
• March 19 – Orientation on R.A. 9262 and R.A. 9344 for Brgy. Officials Ms. Cora David – Resource Speaker – FMA Hall – 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m.
• March 25 – Gender Sensitivity for men in uniform – 1:00 p.m. – Max’s Restaurant
• March 27 – Women’s Night at Rizal Triangle – 6:00 p.m.
• March 30 – Culminating Activity – Flag raising – Rizal Triangle
The Chair assigned Councilor Dabu to take care of the mass offering First Friday and reminded all women to wear something violet for the Flag ceremony.
Councilor Carlito A. Baloy reported about the BCL Executive Meeting he attended in Guadalupe, Cebu City. He proudly announced that Kgd. Austria was elected Secretary General of the BCL of the Philippines.
Calendar of Business
1. Draft Ordinance No. 2009 O-04 – “An Ordinance Prohibiting The Sale, Use, Installation And Display Of Buntings, Pennants And Other Decorative Objects Made With Plastic And Non-Biodegradable Materials Along The Streets, Roads And Public Spaces Within The City Of Olongapo.”
Councilor Cortez reported that they conducted a public hearing and shared that they got a manifesto of support signed by religious, barangay and community leaders to back-up the Council’s move to pass the aforesaid ordinance.
The said manifesto of support were signed by Fr. Audie Mozo of St. Columban Parish, Ms. Tess Reniva, the head of the Parish Pastoral Council, Ms. Anamie Khayad of the Catechetical Center of St. Columban Parish, Imelda Dalis, Secretary, Columban Parish, Capt. Eleazar Batapa, businessman and Columban Pastoral Council leader, Ed Santos, Fr. Lazaro Villafuerte of St. Vincent De Paul Church, Fr. Nelson Vencilao of Sta. Rita, Fr. Chito Vicente of St. Anne Parish and Fr. Harnival Brocelas of St. Joseph Parish.
This is in consideration that the festivities where the buntings are used, are religious in nature, so it is but proper that the support of the said church leaders are secured.
He also asked his colleagues to see for themselves the pictures that they have taken during the public hearing wherein the buntings are displayed in the streets and public places.
Councilor Cortez also shared that according to his research with the Eco Waste Coalition, an NGO based in Manila and in other parts of the country, if ever the City passes the said Ordinance, we will be the first LGU to pass such Ordinance. The said NGO has been espousing greener or green fiesta and celebrations. Amongst the places in the country, it is Barangay Tambo in Paranaque that had done this already though not yet an ordinance. Olongapo will be the first in the country if ever.
Councilor Piano also clarified what will happen on the existing buntings shown in the pictures.
Councilor Cortez replied that they are supposed to be put away by the barangays. However, since there are corporate sponsors for the said buntings, the contractors who placed them should be the ones to put them out but they were not done so. These were left then to the care of the barangays.
Councilor Piano made a follow-up question on what will the barangay officials be liable of, if they can be charged administratively for not removing or allow buntings in their areas. Councilor Cortez draw the answer from Section 1. Penalties and said that the ESMO and OTMPS will be the ones to enforce the measure.
When asked by Councilor Lipumano-Garcia if the tarpaulins are included in the ban, the proponent explained that categorically, the plastic buntings made up of plastic bags are the ones prohibited. Other reusable and recyclable pennants such as tarpaulins are allowed.
He added that cloths, like the geena cloth in different colors can be used because they are washable. He also stressed that plastics that are reusable, biodegradable (as those used by SM) and recyclable are allowed. When asked about the main objective of drafting such ordinance, the proponent said the contention is the use of plastic, a non-biodegradable material, which remains in the environment for hundred of years. Besides, the said material releases dioxin, a substance that is more harmful with water. Plastics in garbage also cause the clogging of drainages as stressed by Councilor Aquino. He added that the aim is not on the buntings alone but on the use of plastics in the environment. He also said that they are not taking away the color and pageantry of the fiestas, but basically only the use of buntings made up of plastics.
Councilor Perez reasoned that she observed that the main purpose of the proponent is to eliminate garbage – plastics in the environment in particular to protect our future community from its harmful effects. She said that the City needs to check on the amount of garbage and the bulk of plastics in it, and what percentage comprise the buntings, with the presence of almost 8 fastfood chains and 7 groceries in Olongapo that produce such garbage. For her, the plastics in garbage should be addressed comprehensively and not the buntings alone.
Councilor Cortez replied that while it is true that the plastic buntings banned are incomparable with the bulk of plastics in garbage, he stressed that it is but necessary to start small. He added that to ban the use of plastic bags in groceries and markets and adopt the use of biodegradable bags costing Php2 against Php0.50 worth of a regular plastic bag, will lend business owners to pass on such expense to the consumers. Further, he said that the City will soon implement its CR3 project, a Php160million worth of project that will address the environmental issues concerned.
Councilor delos Reyes voiced out his observations on the proposed ordinance. He said that the motivation is good but he wanted to question the means of achieving its purpose that is to protect the environment. His first concerned is that the penalties should not be on Section1, that there should be a clear definition of terms and that it should be stipulated on the ordinance and ensure that freedom is not curtailed.
Councilor Cortez acknowledged the observations well. However, since he had already discussed the matter with the rest of the Parish priests and Fr. Mozo already advised the pastoral councils to check these things out for the upcoming festivities, he asked if they can pass the ordinance in principle, the changes subject to the time they affix their signatures.
Councilor delos Reyes commented that the Council should stop in doing what it had used to do, passing measures without its full deliberation. But he also gave the prerogative to the proponent if he needed to divide the house.
Councilor Perez aired that as an event organizer, she said she will affected by the proposed measure and commented that this is not easy to implement since the event sponsors are usually big companies such as Coca Cola and San Miguel they are the ones who usually provide buntings such as plastics. The requirement of the proposed ordinance is to use biodegradable buntings made up of paper and leaves do not last inclement weather conditions like rainfall and strong winds making them impractical for a weeklong or two weeklong events. Further, she stressed that companies do hire contractors to place them. The Councilor suggested them to conduct a thorough consultation with establishment owners as well as not to prohibit the use of plastic buntings but to regulate them.
Based on the picture shown, the proponent pointed that the buntings placed by the contractors of San Miguel and Purefoods are on electric lines and their removal are left on the responsibilities of the barangay.
Councilor Cortez told everyone that the ordinance will be fine tuned to incorporate all the suggestions such as the definition of terms. For this, he moved the draft ordinance to be deferred.
2. Councilor Jonathan G. Manalo moved for the approval of Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-016 – “A Resolution Authorizing Mr. Dante Ramos, ESMO – Head To Represent The City Of Olongapo In Filing Criminal And/Or Administrative Cases Against Erring Officials Of The Olongapo City National High School (OCNHS) As Well As Certain Private Individuals In Connection With The Felling Of Various Trees In OCNHS Without The Knowledge Much Less Approval Of The City Government.”
Councilor delos Reyes reiterated his comments the last time that there are many reasons which would cause the amendment or probably the withdrawal of this resolution.
ANNEX “A” – Legal Consultant Badge Perez
ANNEX “B” – Councilor John Carlos G. delos Reyes
Councilor delos Reyes expressed that if anybody can file a case then, that supports his argument that there is no need for a resolution from the City Council in its role in communicating a policy on Graft and Corruption. For this he proposed to retroact to the time when he raised questions against a couple of public officials and expressed willingness to sponsor the resolution. However, the body still did not know what the CENRO has filed in court in order to file another.
Councilor Lipumano-Garcia shared her comment to the Legal Consultant that the leadership needs to be fair not only to fight against the Principal but to file cases also for other government heads.
Councilor delos Reyes in addition, said that if the Council will lend the honor and its name then it should institute fairness to all not just to Ms. Aggabao but to all since they are not doing selective justice here.
Councilor Cerezo asked if the local chief executive officer just directs Mr. Dante Ramos to file the case or a resolution is still needed in order for a case to be filed.
Since there are still many questions in spite of the Legal Consultant Badge Perez’ explanation, the proponent moved to defer the said measure.
3. Draft Ordinance No. 2009 O-09 – “An Ordinance Declaring The Area Under The Arcade Roof At The Gordon Avenue Side Of The Olongapo City Mall As Leasable Space And Approving Their Corresponding Rates,” was deferred by the body on motion of Councilor Aquilino Y. Cortez, Jr. on behalf of Councilor Angelito W. Baloy who is not around.
4. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-023 – “A Resolution Adopting R.A. 9485 Otherwise Known As “The Anti-Red Tape Act Of 2007” For Proper Implementation In The City Of Olongapo.” Sponsored by Councilor Gina G. Perez
Councilor Gina Perez first gave the body an idea regarding the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007. She added that she already discussed the proposal with Councilor delos Reyes who gave suggestions to do some amendments in the draft and make it as a resolution urging all offices under the city government to implement R.A. 9485.
To define “Red Tape,” the Councilor said that it is a term used for excessive regulation which are considered redundant and prevents action or decision-making. It is usually applied to the government. In September 19, 2008, the President launched the government’s war against Red Tape, and the Civil Service Commission is part of this. The President wants the frontline services of the government to be client friendly, to be globally competitive. Part of the Anti-Red Tape Act is to limit the number of signatories and creation of a Citizen’s Charter. Procedures and processes on how to go about a certain government transaction shall be enumerated in the said charter including the fees to be paid and documents needed or required. Simple transactions would take 5 working days while complex transactions would take 10 days. Moreover, added requests should be put into writing; public assistance desk and a citizen’s help line; shall be put up and a report card survey shall be conducted by the Civil Service Commission to check if the said law is being implemented. Fixing of documents is strictly prohibited.
Councilor Perez also informed the body that in September 29, 2008 the Director of the Civil Service Commission released a news article regarding the communication network they will put-up that will link all government agencies through a central customer hot line. Then in October 19, 2008, President Arroyo ordered several government agencies to allocate 2% of their budget for the campaign against red tape. The Councilor cited various government agencies which have already acted upon the said law. The LTO in Cebu arrested fixers in their area on October 22, 2008; the CSC conducted a seminar on this on November 5, 2008; DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno enjoined all local government officials to strictly implement the Anti-Red Tape Law in their respective areas; in November 12, Caloocan City Mayor Echiverri ordered the activation of the Anti-Red Tape desk and hotline; and in February 17, in the gathering of the Metro Manila Mayors, a covenant to hasten and standardize government transactions was made by the Mayors to the President.
Councilor Perez then encouraged that the city comply with the said law. Unfortunately, she found out from the consultations they made to other national government offices, that several offices and/or employees are still unaware of the Anti-Red Tape Act. This, according to the Councilor, was the reason for the proposed measure, a resolution urging all offices under the Olongapo City government to implement R.A. 9485. Integral to the proposal is a copy of R.A. 9485 with its Implementing Rules and Regulations for the information of the different offices which includes the national offices within the city’s jurisdiction not just the city government offices. The goal is to help improve the government’s frontline services. The said law was signed by the President in June 2007 and took effect in September 2008. Government units are given one (1) year to enact it and may be penalized for non-enactment.
Councilor Edwin J. Piano commented that contrary to the observation made by Councilor Perez that the city was already quite delayed in the implementation of the said Act, he said that even before this, the city already have its own drive against red tape.
Councilor Perez, in response to the comment, cited the Mass Land Titling Program as an example, where many are still unable to avail of land title. Improvements in the procedures on how to avail different documents from national and local offices will be given focus. In the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO), a tarpaulin was displayed bearing the steps on how to secure a permit and the person to approach. The Councilor said that there has to be a group of people who shall put up the Citizen’s Charter. The charter shall consist of the different procedures which were already improved and stream-lined for the benefit of customers.
As regards to the mass land titling mentioned by Councilor Perez, Councilor Piano said that the city reduced less than half of the steps in the process, unfortunately, the said project got grounded not in the city government offices but in the national agencies like the DENR and CENRO. The city has no control over their processes. Thus, according to the Councilor, the Anti-Red Tape Act is needed more by national agencies. If an Anti-Red Tape Ordinance will be passed, it may give the impression to the constituents that the city’s line departments are not doing the right things in the right way, to which the Councilor thinks the line departments of the city are doing their best to drastically reduce red tape. Furthermore, the term “red tape” in the Philippines is equated to corruption.
Councilor Lipumano-Garcia supported the observation of Councilor Piano that since it is already a national law, to enact an ordinance regarding the matter may imply that red tape really exist in the city.
Councilor Perez mentioned that the purpose of the resolution is for information dissemination thus she amended the title from “adopting” to “urging” all offices to implement it.
Councilor Rodel Cerezo informed the body that as elected officials, they have the right to be concerned and act on any programs of national government agencies like that of DENR and CENRO that affects their constituents. He added that this is one of the roles of the local government under Section 16, which is about the comfort and convenience of our inhabitants.
Councilor Perez manifested the revision of the title which shall read as: “A Resolution Urging All Offices Under The Olongapo City Government To Implement Forthwith Republic Act 9485.”
Councilor delos Reyes in his short comment on the issue at hand, said that whether or not there was indeed red tape in Olongapo City Hall, he hopes that the Anti-Red Tape Act still find a place in the city because he would rather see the constructive side to it, that the city, with its efforts for efficiency, is open to rooms for improvement.
Draft Resolution No. 2009-R-23, “A Resolution Urging All Offices Under The Olongapo City Government To Implement Forthwith Republic Act No. 9485 Otherwise Known As “An Act To Improve Efficiency In The Delivery Of Government Service To The Public By Reducing Bureaucratic Red Tape Preventing Graft And Corruption, And Providing Penalties Therefor” with the amended title and request for unanimous sponsorship, was approved by the body unanimously, in its second and final reading, on motion of Councilor Gina G. Perez.
5. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-024 – “A Resolution Conferring The Title “Adopted Daughter Of Olongapo City” To Hon. Carissa Coscolluela, Representative, Buhay Partylist, For Her Magnanimous Contributions In The City.”
Councilor Dabu informed the body that Carissa Coscolluela is known for her intellect, passion commitment, courage and unwavering support to our city. She was instrumental in infusing funds for the following: 1. Expansion of James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital; 2. Skills Training; 3. Livelihood Programs; and 4. Police Cars needed by the Olongapo City Police Office. With the lure of her profession, Congresswoman Coscolluela chose to serve the partylist that serves the “masa” and did not forget her training ground where she blossomed – Olongapo and SBMA.
Councilor delos Reyes asked what the city would expect from an adopted son or daughter.
Councilor Dabu explained that sincerity and willingness to help the city was seen from an adopted son or daughter.
Councilor delos Reyes commented that he knows Carissa Coscolluela since she is a friend, a family friend, a fellow advocate in the Prolife Movement. The Councilor said he is very thankful to the Congresswoman for helping the city and is excited to approve the proposed resolution. However, he said that he will write her a letter to relay that there are many things in the city spearheaded by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities which are against her advocacies. The Councilor said he wanted to put the comment on record and would very much want to hear her side on the matter.
Councilor Edwin Piano requested the proponent to have the second paragraph of the “whereas”, to read as: “Congresswoman Coscolluela is also instrumental in infusing funds for the expansion of the James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital, the Skills Training, and Livelihood Program as well as police cars needed by Olongapo City Police Office.” This is to emphasize in the said resolution that the Congresswoman is also helping in the Skills Training and Livelihood program of the city. Councilor Dabu noted the request. She also mentioned that the resolution will be awarded directly to Congresswoman Coscolluela on the city’s celebration of Women’s Month on March.
Draft Resolution No. 2009-R-24 was approved unanimously by the body, in its second and final reading, on motion of Councilor Elena C. Dabu.
6. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-025 – “A Resolution Approving The Annual Budget Of Barangay West Bajac-Bajac, City Of Olongapo For The Calendar Year 2009.”
The Presiding Officer recognized the presence of Mr. Efren R. Berromilla, Brgy. Records Keeper of Brgy. West Bajac-Bajac, upon the request of Councilor Edwin Piano.
Councilor Ellen Dabu asked if the Barangay has an allocation for livelihood training. Mr. Berromilla answered that the barangay allotted PhP67,576.44 for it. Quarterly training on tocino-making, longganisa-making, embutido-making, soap-making and many others is already on-going.
Councilor Ellen Dabu asked further who the barangay chairman on livelihood is. Mr. Berromilla said it is Brgy. Kgd. Melissa Carabeo. Councilor Dabu said that from what she gathered, Brgy. Kgd. Carabeo already resigned. Mr. Beromilla cleared that Brgy. Kgd. Carabeo is still the chair of the Committee on Livelihood.
Draft Resolution No. 2009-R-025 was approved unanimously by the body, in its second and final reading, on motion of Councilor Edwin J. Piano.
7. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-026 – “A Resolution Approving The List Of City Infrastructure Projects For CY 2009,” was approved by the body unanimously, in its second and final reading, on motion of Councilor Anselmo A. Aquino. This is co-sponsored by Councilors Edwin J. Piano and Rodel S. Cerezo.
8. Draft Ordinance No. 2009 O-10 – “An Ordinance Creating The Anti-Red Tape Board To Oversee The Implementation Of Republic Act 9485 Otherwise Known As The Anti-Red Tape Act Of 2007 (An Act To Improve Efficiency In The Delivery Of Government Service To The Public By Reducing Bureaucratic Red Tape Preventing Graft And Corruption, And Providing Penalties Therefor).”
Councilor Gina G. Perez said she has no intention at that time to have the proposed measure approved but she wanted to apprise her colleagues regarding the matter.
Councilor Perez discussed she consulted several authorities in the proposal to create an Anti-Red Tape Task Force or Board. The Councilor said that the idea of drafting an ordinance came from DILG Director Eliseo de Guzman because he received an order from the national government to implement R.A. 9485 in local government units. She, likewise, consulted the city administrator and the majority group members. Whether to issue an Executive Order or draft an ordinance became the point of discussions.
According to Councilor Perez, she called up the Development Academy of the Philippines for additional information about the said law. She was able to talk with Director Grace Gatarin of the Local Development Office. They advised for the city government of Olongapo to organize an orientation. Councilor Perez said she gave her e-mail address so they can forward their proposal and added that definitely there will be some expenses accompanying an orientation because the Development Academy of the Philippines will be providing technical experts. They will help put up the citizen’s charter. The Civil Service Commission shall also be then to give more enlightenment on the said law, and there representatives from the Office of the Ombudsman and the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission for the complaints and feedback mechanism.
Councilor Perez said that the issuance of an Executive Order was advised during the Majority Caucus, thus she changed her draft ordinance with an Executive Order which she will forward and recommend to the City Mayor. She will defer or lay the proposed measure on the table. The Development Academy of the Philippines suggested that the Mayor should head the Task Force, or if not, the one in charge on personnel administration like the City Administrator or the City Planning Head may head. Thus, Councilor Perez said she listed the City Administrator as the Chair, the CPDO head as the Vice-Chair and the Department Heads as Members since they are in the frontline services.
According to Councilor Perez, the Citizen’s Charter Team shall review the charter annually, if there’s a need to revise or improve it. She then leaves the decision whether to create an Ordinance or an Executive Order to the body. She mentioned that under Section III of the ordinance, the Olongapo City Council, through a resolution, shall adopt the Citizen’s Charter duly endorsed by the Local Chief Executive thru the team’s recommendation, or an ordinance, which shall contain the procedures that shall be implemented by all frontliners of the city government.
The Councilor sought the advice of her colleagues.
Draft Ordinance No. 2009-O-10 was laid by the body on table, on motion of Councilor Gina G. Perez.
9. Draft Ordinance No. 2008 O-06 – “An Ordinance Establishing The Dental Health Section Under The City Health Department.”
Councilor Gina Perez recalled to the body that the proposed measure was endorsed by the Mayor’s Office the previous year but was laid on table due to some concerns. Currently, the City Mayor once again requested for its approval.
Councilor Manalo informed for the record, that no additional compensation to the personnel concerned is to be added even if the proposal is approved. Dr. Vigo, even with the title as Division Chief and his staff, will retain their original salary.
Councilor Piano said that from the organizational structure, the title ‘Division Chief’ is the appropriate one instead of ‘Division Head’. The Councilor then commented that issue on salary distortion may be thrown at the proposal since the item Division Chief has a Salary Grade 24 while in the proposed measure it is only SG-18. He read that in Section 4 of the proposal it was stated that the said ordinance shall take effect upon its approval and compliance with government rules and procedures. This is so because it will still be checked and reviewed for approval by DBM and the Civil Service Commission. Thus, Councilor Piano suggested not to include yet in the statement under the section mentioned the appropriation rule on government accounting and auditing. He added that they can just put this once they give budget allocation.
Councilor Lipumano-Garcia asked about the attachments for the project proposal regarding the dental office.
Councilor Aquino answered that this will be a 3-storey container van.
Draft Ordinance No. 2008-O-06 was approved by the body unanimously, in its second and final reading, on motion of Councilor Gina G. Perez.
The Presiding Officer reminded the Secretariat to take note of the changes in the title which shall read as “Dental Health Division” not “Section.”
A. Councilor delos Reyes pointed out an error on the resolution for the adopted daughter, in the third “Whereas” the clause of the last sentence which states “climb her way up in the House of Congress.” He suggested to change it to “House of Representatives.”
The Presiding Officer told the Secretariat to take note of the suggestion.
B. Draft Resolution No. 2009 R-029 – “A Resolution Approving The Container Van-Office At The Engineering Compound As One Of The Priority Projects For The Budget Year 2009,” was considered by the body as an urgent matter, on motion of Councilor Anselmo A. Aquino.
Councilor Aquino informed the body that the proposed container van office is a three-storey office but for the time-being, the budget is only for a two-storey. The UBSP, Public Information Agency and the GSO are few of the offices that will use it. The GSO will use it as their stock room.
Councilor delos Reyes commented that under the law a public hearing is needed if there is a change in office. He then asserted the need for a public hearing.
The Presiding Officer said that may be they can talk about the observation of Councilor delos Reyes while the van is already being purchased or may be even before it is purchased.
Councilor Lipumano-Garcia asked the proponent if the container van on its plan for safety and on its construction, was studied very well.
Councilor Aquino answered that he was able to see one in their Lakbay Aral at Naga City. Councilor Manalo, in addition, said that it would look like the container van used at the carpentry shop in the Engineering compound.
Draft Resolution No. 2009-O-29 was approved by a majority vote. ten (10) Members were in favor and one (1) opposed.
Councilor Lipumano-Garcia, who opposed, explained her vote was because she doesn’t have a copy of any study on the matter.
C. Draft Ordinance No. 2009 O-12 – “An Ordinance Appropriating The Amount Of Four Million Seven Hundred Eighty Five Thousand Nine Hundred Eighty One Pesos And Forty Nine Centavos (PhP4,785,981.49) To The 20% Development Fund-Capital Outlay From The Unapropriated Balance Of The 2009 Budget For The Priority Projects For Budget Year 2009,” was considered by the body as an urgent matter, on motion of Councilor Jonathan Manalo.
Councilor Manalo apprised the body that the amount PhP4,785,981.49 was the sum of the amount of the container van project which is PhP1,846.802.70 plus the PhP2,939,178.79 which is the budget needed to complete the allotment for the approved lists of City Infrastructure Projects for CY 2009 that has the total amount of PhP37 million. As yet, only PhP35 million was allotted. The Councilor added that he has a copy of the Certificate of Availability of Funds coming from the City Treasurer and the Urgency Certificate from the City Mayor.
The Presiding Officer requested that the Secretariat be provided a copy of the Certificate of Availability of Funds.
Draft Ordinance No. 2009-O-12 was approved by a majority vote, in its second and final reading, on motion of Councilor Jonathan G. Manalo.
Ten (10) Members voted in favor and one (1) opposed.
D. The Presiding Officer informed the body that she received a copy of the draft of Atty. Abdon regarding Adm. Case 11-10-03-08, Erick Cuevas vs. Brgy. Kgd. Ricky Espinosa, Fulton and Norman Guiang. She said she hopes to get the recommendation from the subcommittee next meeting and finalize it.
Councilor Aquino reminded that there are two cases already. The other one is from Mabayuan.
There being no further matters to be discussed, the session was adjourned at 7:16 in the evening, on motion of Councilor Rodel S. Cerezo.
I HEREBY CERTIFY TO THE
CORRECTNESS OF THE FOREGOING:
ELFLIDA S. SALMON
CYNTHIA G. CAJUDO
City Vice-Mayor & Presiding Officer
LEGAL CONSULTANT PEREZ:
Meaningful good afternoon to the Honorable Members of this Legislative Council.
First, I’d like to thank the Hon. Councilor JC Delos Reyes for raising legitimate concerns pertaining to this proposed ordinance. It appears that there are 2 major concerns being raised. First, is the legal standing or authority of the CENRO Officer to file a case with regard to this concern, that there was this unauthorized cutting of trees sa OCNHS. Second, would be the concern regarding duplication or actually this is what we may call in law as forum shopping, meaning, you file different cases, which are actually based on a single caused of action or what we call a single violation of law. In simple terms, ang ibig sabihin lang po kasi sa batas pag merong isang ginawa at isa lang ang na-violate na batas isa lang ang dapat mong i-file na kaso 'yun po actually yu'ng dalawa lang na concerns na hinaharap natin, yu'ng una po is yu'ng authority ng CENRO Officer or I’m sorry the ESMO Officer to represent us to filing the case and second 'yun nga po - propriety of filing other possible cases. Yu'ng sa first concern po, let me just address yu'ng point na nai-raise na we want to be fair to everyone. I’d just like to direct the attention of this Honorable Legislative Council also to the fact that if we read this proposed ordinance, what we will actually see is that we are after the accountability not only of one person but of all those erring officials because it would actually be not only unfair but would also do violence to the basic precepts of justice and equity if we leave some one or some one, two or three persons alone, while all the others who may possibly be directly liable or responsible for the commission of the acts, which are now being condemned is scot free. So, what we’re… actually, after here is… here, we’re actually trying to be fair. So, we go now directly to the first concern the authority of the ESMO officer, I’d like to bring the attention of this Honorable Legislative Council to two points. First, would be jurisprudence the jurisprudencial concept of intergenerational responsibility. Second, would be the fact that the provisions on the powers and duties and responsibilities of the Chief Executive under Sec. 455 as cited by the Honorable Councilor awhile ago, should be read in conjuction with other existing provisions in particular, I’d like to direct your attention to… also to Sec. 484 paragraph (c) also of the Local Government Code. Under that paragraph it stipulates essentially that the ESMO Officer could actually perform other functions which are duly properly delegated to it either by law, meaning national legislation or by ordinance meaning by law enacted by the local legislative council in which case one such example would be this resolution. Second, with regard to that is that the enumeration of responsibilities under Sec. 455 is not exclusive and that is based on the legal principle that the Mayor being only a human being is just one person is not expected to perform any or every single aspect of local governance, which is actually the reason why he has his other delegates as to the provisions sighted that it is the City Legal Officer again that it not exclusive.
The point here is that the ordinance actually empowers the ESMO officer to be the representative of the city government, meaning, if there’s already a case filed he will be …he will take part of the proceedings as the representative of the local government and the legal logic behind that is in every commission of a crime or a wrong there are many violated parties or many parties are prejudiced. One party as always would be the national government or the state itself in which case the representative of the national government, obviously, would be the national officers. There would also be the other public authorities like the Local Government Unit and who could be the representative of the Local Government Unit - that, of course, would be the person duly authorized by law or ordinance to represent it. Another would be, the private party, who was wronged in this particular case we would actually say that the students themselves based on the jurisprudential principle of inter-generational responsibility, meaning, as explained by the Supreme Court, when there’s a violation concering the environment everyone, considering that there’s a constitutional imperative to a balance and healthful ecology and environment, anyone could actually file a case, it’s not just the city government, it’s not just the Local Legislative Council, it’s not just the Local Chief Executive. Actually, if we take that legal principle to its logical extreme, I myself can actually file a case without need of any authorization from anyone. Why? Because I have locus standi. So that, hopefully, settles the issue of authority of the ESMO Officer to act as the representative of the city government by virtue of law or ordinance.
Now, we go to the next concern regarding possible duplicity of action. Once a wrong is committed, again, there are many parties who are prejudiced and there are also various laws which are being violated. One classic example: actually, in law school, which I believe some of the Honorable Councilors here are aware, is the violation of or issuance of the bouncing check. If you issue a bouncing check, you are not only culpable under the provisions of estafa under the Revised Penal Code. People can actually file another case for violation of BP 22 and in this particular case, actually, what has been filed is a criminal case, yes, but it is a malum prohibitum, meaning, a violation of a special law. There are other possible cases that maybe filed. What I'm trying to get at, actually, is that as everyone here is already aware, the local Legislative Council can pass an ordinance or a law as long as it is not made in grave abuse of discretion, meaning, in simple terms, there is no law that is violated. So, in conclusion actually, is that, No. 1 is the ESMO, may the ESMO Officer be authorized to file a case in behalf of the city government? Yes, he is legally authorized to file a case and second, as to duplicity of action, there is no prohibited duplicity of action and I would like to end with the statement again, reiterate the concerns rose regarding fairness.
We are faced with the possibility of creating a moral hazard, wherein other persons such as subordinates could, or rather it would provide them with an encouragement not to exercise responsibility. Why? Because they could easily escape by simply pinning the blame on their superior. Say, for example, the immediate supervisor or in this particular case, the principal.
So, yu'n nga po ang sinasabi natin, if we really want to be fair in the truest sense, then, let’s have or take a course of action na lahat ng culpable, then, let’s make them accountable. Yu'n lang po yu'ng, I believe is the reason behind this proposed legislation.
COUNCILOR DELOS REYES:
Madame Presiding Officer, regarding the legal standing, yes, anybody could file a case and I wish more people would file cases because there is what we call spirituality of citizenship and Filipinos lack in that virtue where they really love this country, they would go out of their comfort zones to file cases.
Now, yu'n po yu'ng point in order to lend the honor and the name of the City Council to this issue, kailangan po pantay-pantay. I filed… I raised an issue a year ago concerning the department head to department heads, eh parang pagtumitingin po ako sa likod ko, wala po akong kasama. Tapos, ngayon iniipit natin ang taong ito and talagang dapat ipitin because she was negligent but if we are going to lend our name and the honor of the Council to this, then I suggest, we also do the same with those. Yu'n lang naman po ang sinasabi ko and that’s fairness. Hindi po tayo nagse-selective justice dito, I mean, yu'ng mga batas, yu'ng mga… alam n'yo ho, yu'ng bansang ito, it’s really going to the toilet. Because… I don't know, naghalo-halo na yu'ng mga taong may bad faith eh, talagang kawalanghiyaan. That is why, inaayos lang natin. I am not exonerating, Madame Aggabao. Not at all, but I'm just saying that if we are to lend our name, the owner of this Council to something like this, if we are to dip our hands into this issues, then, we be fair, if not… and I could sponsor it if we were fair, if not, I will oppose this.
Yu'n lang po.