Dagupan’s SP majority administratively liable, say

By December 26, 2022News


A DILG legal opinion in 2019 states that if the Sanggunian committed inaction that is intentional and without valid and justifiable grounds on matters certified as urgent by the Local Chief Executive (LCE), thereby showing no consideration on the priorities of the administration, “the members, thereof, are considered to have slumbered on their primordial duty and could be held administratively liable.”

This was rendered by Undersecretary Marivel Sacendoncillo by authority of the Interior and Local Government Secretary, in response to the letter of Mayor Cecilia Carreon dated April 5, 2019 of the Municipality of Pinan, Zamboanga del Norte, asking whether or not the Sangguniang Bayan could be charged with dereliction of duty for its failure to take into consideration without valid justification those legislative matters duly certified urgent by the LCE.

DILG Opinion No.52, series of 2019 was cited by Mayor Belen Fernandez when she wrote the Dagupan Sangguniang Panlungsod anew on December 19, 2022 asking for the passage of the Proposed Annual City Budget for 2023 and the Proposed Annual Investment Plan for 2023 whose deadline for legislative authorization is on December 31, 2022, and on the long pending Supplemental Budget No. 1 and the Supplemental AIP No. 1, all of which were certified by her as urgent.

The DILG opinion states that the Local Government Code of 1991 acknowledged the duty of LCE to determine what will be the programs, projects or activities of the LGU, including the priority thrust of the administration.

Article 107 (e) of the Local Government  Code, according to Undersecretary Sacendoncillo, states: “Any legislative matter duly certified by the local chief executive as urgent, whether or not it is included in the calendar of business, may be presented and considered by the body at the same meeting without need of suspending the rules”.

In fact, all legislations proposed by the LCE and certified by the Dagupan mayor as urgent were instead referred by the seven-man majority in the Dagupan SP to a committee to conduct hearings and invited resource speakers in a vain attempt to justify the continuous delay.

Mayor Fernandez said DILG Legal Opinion No. 52, series of 2019 provides answer to the dilemma of Dagupeños who continue to be deprived of basic public services. “They will be made liable by the national government for what they are doing to the city,” she intoned.

In her letter to the SP dated December 19, 2022, Mayor Fernandez said the Appropriation Ordinance of Dagupan City for Fiscal Year 2023 remains unscheduled for regular calendar an observation shared by Romarie Soriano, Local Government Operations Officer of DILG in Dagupan City. (Leonardo Micua)

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