NEWS: Lagunzad abstains on City Council’s “vague” ordinance

In the end Tagum’s old political turk Antonio Lagunzad was left out in the cold: he was alone and had abstained from voting in what he considered as a “vague” ordinance of the Tagum City Council which sought for reclassification of a parcel of land from institutional to residential use.

The eleven other boardmembers present voted “yes” for the reclassification on Monday’s session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
But Lagunzad’s abstention came after he and proponent Boardmembers Roger Israel and Artemio San Juan wrestled on floor discussion over how to correct the phrasing of City Ordinance No. 297 which had thrown boardmembers into confusion whether it was the one hectare of the two hectares or the two hectares as a whole that was the subject of land reclassification.

“There is vagueness in it,” Lagunzad said adding that the ordinance sought by Tagum City councilors had not specifically identified the location of the 1-hectare portion of the two-hectare parcel of land owned by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), which is located at Barangay Magdum. Said portion is to be used for the employees housing project.

Lagunzad said that on the second vein the land involved was given by the national government to NIA and that he wanted to be clarified on this.

“Maybe there is already arrangement on this,” he said but did not explain further as Boardmember San Juan defended his measure of confirming the city ordinance in SP Resolution 477.

Earlier, Boardmember Ely Dacalus sparked the verbal skirmish by citing that a piece of legislation needs to be brief and concise.
Later, he asked the body to return the measure to the city of origin citing that under the SP’s parliamentary rules the body could not introduce amendment to an ordinance.

San Juan however defended that his committee had only corrected and arranged English words in the ordinance to make it precise and appropriate.

But when Boardmember Gregorio Facula dared ask the provincial board to recommit the ordinance to the joint committee and to invite the city councilors for a new round of committee hearing, Israel opposed saying it just implied that the joint committee’s output was not good. “They’re thinking that someone is destroyed (in this),” he said.

The measure with fresh modifications made by San Juan and Israel was however allowed to be approved on third and final reading as facilitated by the presiding Vice Governor Victorio Suaybaguio Jr. with Lagunzad abstaining during the voting. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)


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