DAGUPAN CITY, 24 July — Various committees of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) here have been reorganized in a special session last Wednesday.
Acting on a motion of minority Councilor Red Erfe Mejia, five SP majority bloc members — Jesus Canto, Ma. Librada Fe Reyna, Karlos Liberator Reyna, Luis Chito Samson Jr. and Alvin Coquia and four minority members — Councilors Marc Brian Lim, Mejia, Guillermo Vallejos and Chester Gonzales — went for the approval of the measure.
Mejia raised the motion as an offshoot of the earlier resolution approved during last Monday’s regular session that sought to declare all committee chairmanships and memberships vacant.
Councilor Brian Lim told mediamen in a forum hosted by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) held at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) last Thursday that a unified, more responsive and productive Sangguniang Panlungsod is to be expected on the last year of their current term.
“This is the perfect chance to show the council’s unity as our colleagues finally disregard political affiliation to make the most out of the remaining months of our term,” he said.
The newly-elected officers and chairmen are as follows:
Pro tempore: . Alfie Fernandez; Deputy Pro tempore: . Ma. Librada Fe Reyna; Majority Floor leader: . Karlos Reyna IV; Asst. Majority Floor leader: . Red Erfe-Mejia; Minority Floor leader: (deferred)
The committee chairpersons are: arranged alphabetically as follows:
Agriculture and Fisheries: Alvin Coquia; Appropriations: Jess Canto; Art, Culture, and Heritage: Brian Lim; Barangay Affairs: Guillermo Vallejos; Cooperatives and Livelihood Development: Red Erfe-Mejia; Dangerous Drugs: . Red Erfe-Mejia; Economic Affairs: Brian Lim; Education: . Chito Samson Jr.; Environment and Natural Resources: . Brian Lim
Health and Sanitation: . Jess Canto; Housing and Urban Development: Karlos Reyna IV
Labor and Employment: (deferred); Land Utilization: Alvin Coquia; Laws, Ordinances, and Judiciary: . Alfie Fernandez; Local and International Relations: Alvin Coquia;
Peace and Order: Chito Samson; People’s Participation: (deferred); Population and Demography: (deferred); Poverty Alleviation: . John Chester Gonzales; Public Information and Mass Media: Red Erfe-Mejia; Public Markets: Alvin Coquia; Public Works and Infrastructure: Karlos Reyna IV; Rules and Procedure: . Brian Lim; Senior Citizens Affairs: Jess Canto
Social Welfare and Community Development: . Jess Canto; Tourism: . Alfie Fernandez; Trade and Industry: Chito Samson Jr.; Transportation and Public Utilities: . Karlos Reyna IV; Women, Children and Family Affairs: Ma. Librada Reyna; Youth and Sports Development: John Chester Gonzales
The filling-up of four seats were deferred since two of the 12 councilors, namely Coun. Maybelyn Rose Fernandez and Coun. Jigs Seen, abstained during the special session. City Information Officer Anna Velasco said there is no schedule yet as to when the deferred seats will be filled-up.
Lim said that the reorganization paved way for creating a new set of house rules in sync with parliamentary procedures observed all over the world and existing laws such as the local government code.
The amended rules, as Lim mentioned, were authorizing all the members of the plenary session to move for suspension of the rules, holding of special sessions even without the presiding officer’s consent and procedures in conducting inquiries in aid of legislation.
“One of the main objectives of the reformist councilors is to pass the 2013 budget before December 31 of this year… By establishing open communication with the executive branch, it would be much easier to coordinate with the department heads that will speed up the preparation of proposals, hearing and the passage of the budget. That’s part of the democratic process,” he bared.
Aside from the committee revamp, also approved in the session was Draft Resolution No. R-4952 entitled “Adopting a New Comprehensive Set of Internal Rules and Procedures for the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dagupan” and the filling up of vacant seats through voting and nomination.
Lim said the resolution also adopted new amendments on some provisions of the newly adopted internal rules and procedures of the SP to avoid conflict with the local government code and parliamentary rules and procedures.
The Liga ng mga Barangay in the city has thrown its full support to the reorganization of various committees of the SP even as it expressed hopes that the move would redound to more effective, harmonious, and beneficial working relationships between the city government’s legislative and executive branches.
In a resolution approved recently, the Liga said the benefits derived from the reorganization will trickle down to better local governance and more efficient and satisfactory delivery of basic services. (PIA-Pangasinan with reports from CIO)