Local legislators told to be partners in development

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BAGUIO CITY – Obstructions are not only applicable on roads and sidewalks but also even in governance, especially in the executive and local legislative branches.

In a random interview with most of the local officials from the different parts of the region, local legislators, especially those who do not understand their duties and responsibilities in the local government, are often branded as obstructionists in the implementation of the priority development programs, projects and activities of the local leaders.

Under the present set up of the bureaucracy, provincial governors, city and municipal mayors are the local chief executives who head the executive branch of the local government while provincial board members, city and municipal councilors are the local legislators empowered to craft ordinances or local laws and resolutions that express the overall sentiment of the local government in certain issues concerning the locality and the country as a whole.

Most of the time, local legislators tend to mis-interpret their duties and responsibilities because they even go to the extent of stepping into the powers bestowed on the executives by existing laws, rules and regulations that often result to clashes and frictions among the involved local officials thereby causing delays in the approval of the annual budgets of local governments, the delays in the approval of the annual investment plans, the inability of the councils to support the executive-legislative agenda, among others which eventually result to politicking among them thereby compromising the implementation of priority development projects and delivery of basic services by the administration.

Some local officials raised the observation that their local legislators tend to use their power to hostage the local government in the implementation of their priority programs and projects without being granted what they describe as their ‘bingay.’

On the other hand, some local executives claim that despite undergoing series of seminar-workshops on legislations, there are still numerous local legislators who are not aware of their role in the law-making process because they use their position as a leverage to demand projects to be given to them which in the first place is violative of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law and the Code of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

According to those who had been interviewed, most local legislators who are in the right position are even influenced by their colleagues who seem not to understand the work of the position they were elected to considering they prefer insist on misusing their position.

Worst, some local legislators do not even know how to craft  ordinances and resolutions, both pieces of legislations that are always being subjected to the 3-reading rule instead of the ordinances which are the ones subject of such rule.

Local officials challenged their fellow local legislators to start shaping up to avoid becoming the laughing stock.

By HENT

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