Ordinance No. 07– 012
In its penultimate session on June 20, 2007, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Aklan has approved Provincial Ordinance No. 07 – 012. This is "An Ordinance Adopting Internal Rules of Procedure For The Sang-guniang Panlalawigan of Aklan As Amended". This ordinance was approved by Governor Carlito S. Marquez a few days after SP Aklan (2004 – 2007) approved it.
In this SP Ordinance No. 07-012, one of the whereases stated; "pursuant to Section 50 of Republic Act No. 7160 otherwise known as "An Act Providing for a Local Government Code of 1991", on the first regular session following the election of its members and within ninety (90) days thereafter, the Sanggunian concerned shall adopt or update its existing rules of procedure".
Is the 18th regular session for CY 2007 of SP (2004-2007) Aklan held on June 20, 2007 consistent with the above stated "whereas"? No, it is second to its last session which was held on June 27, 2007.
Why then used it as its premise for the approval of Provincial Ordinance No. 07-012 of Aklan? It is really hard for a reader to understand the purposes and intent of this kind of provincial legislation. The members of the Aklan SP (2004-2007) whose term of office expired at 12:00 o’clock on Saturday, June 30, 2007 has much to explain to the Aklanons why did they approved an "Internal Rules of Procedure" at the end of its term? Why hurry? It was only 10 days from June 20 for the SP (2007-2010) with the new presiding officer and members to assume their duties and responsibilities. It is puzzling to many why did Aklan SP (2004-2007), which 13 members consisted of three lawyer members and presided by a lawyer approved such ordinance. Anyway, the presiding officer at that time of approval of the said ordinance was Hon. Gerick M. Templonuevo.
It comes to mind that the SP (2004-2007) members are very caring and loving. They are so loving and caring to approve an Internal Rules of Procedure designed for the SP which will follow them. On the other hand, there are some provisions which maybe far from the good taste of the new SP members and the new vice governor.
Going over the approved ordinance, the term "presiding officer" has been mentioned several times which may make its meaning so blurred to the members themselves. This presiding officer term, may connotes several meanings depending upon who will interpret it. It might be interpreted to suit his/her purpose. There is therefore the urgency of defining presiding officer as used as far as this Ordinance No. 07-012 is concerned. This might provoke and even ignite fire in any SP sessions.
This Internal Rules of Procedure Ordinance has created new positions which had never existed since the separation of Aklan as a province in 1956. Will these positions produce monsters? Vice Governor Ronquillo C. Tolentino in his valediction stated that the SP during his watch "never resorted to self glorification", there was no grandstanding.
Section 7 of this Ordinance No. 07-012 provides for the creation of the "Majority Floor-leader" and a "Minority Floorleader". These creations will formalize and legalize the formation of factions in the SP. Aklanons wish to think and even believed that the members of the Aklan SP will act as one and do things as one. There are only 10 regular members, plus three ex-officio members. Why divide the Aklan SP? Where will the ex-officio members belong?
The majority floor-leader is chosen by the majority party members, preferably the highest ranking member in terms of percentage of votes garnered as certified by the Comelec. It seems this provision is self-serving for the author/sponsor of this ordinance.
As provided in Section 7 of the said ordinance, the duties enumerated therein means a diminution of duties functions and prerogatives of the vice governor who is expressedly designated presiding officer of the SP. Is Vice Governor consulted and did she agree to these provisions? These provisions may trigger not only highly animated debate but also promote heated discussion. This will promote a bad start for the SP (2007-2010). God, please forbids! The Aklanons wish the SP members to act with mutuality, reciprocity, friendship and understanding.
The provisions in Section 7 has clipped the wings of the presiding officer.
The Internal Rules of Procedure is now approved as Ordinance No. 07-012. Will the SP members (2007-2010) adopt and be governed by it? Will this ordinance be binding to them which term of office started at 12:00 noon of June 30, 2007? Will the re-elected SP members who participated in drafting it impose their number superiority over the new Vice Governor/Presiding officer and three new members of the SP Aklan? /MP