BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on third and final reading institutionalizing the conduct of paperless sessions in the local legislative body.
The ordinance authored by all members of the local legislative body stated that paperless sessions adhere to and make the City Council an advocate of environment friendly office pursuant to prevailing standards in good governance.
The ordinance added that it will be a declared policy of the local legislative body that sessions that will be done are paperless.
Under the pertinent provisions of the ordinance, non-compliance to the measure shall be subject to the provisions of Article 114b of the Implementing rules and Regulations of the Local government code that states that any public officer or employee who violates an ordinance shall be meted administrative disciplinary action.
According to the proposed measure, paperless sessions make the offices client friendly because of the significant reduction in the expenses of clients who transact business with the different offices of the local legislative body considering that they will no longer be required to submit 16 copies of each document for all the city council members.
The ordinance stipulated that test runs on paperless sessions by the local legislative body have proven that the office was able to save 336 realms of paper per year for photocopying the agenda, minutes of meeting, endorsements, supporting documents among others.
The ordinance noted that the savings of 336 realms of bond paper is reportedly equivalent to over P65,280 exclusive of toners for printers and cost of photocopying.
As early as 2007, a good number of local governments in the country specifically Agusan del Sur, Butuan City, Dagupan City, Talisay City, Trece Marteres City, Pagbilao, Quezon, Laoag City, Iloilo City, Quezon City, Manila City, and Makati City conduct their regular sessions without paper for the local legislative bodies.
The ordinance stated that all the concerned cities and municipalities have reported that they were able to significantly benefit from the paperless conduct of their sessions because of savings on time, effort and resources of officials and employees aside from the savings incurred by the government in terms of expenses for bond paper among other types of papers.
Initially, the local legislative body is conducting paperless sessions although on a hybrid scheme because there are still some documents that have to be inputted in the system for the inclusion of the same in the paperless transactions in the local legislative body.
The local government invested in the implementation of the paperless transactions in the local legislative body but there are still instances when local legislators and their staff use certain documents in the conduct of their sessions and in other transactions with other offices of the city.
The local legislative body is optimistic that it will be able to perfect the conduct of the paperless sessions for the benefit of speedy disposal of transactions in their offices for the purpose of helping preserve and protect the environment.
By Dexter A. See