DavNor SP approves by inaction TC housing code having “unconstitutional” provisions

Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2010

The housing code of Tagum City, despite that it has provisions tagged earlier as unconstitutional by the Provincial Legal Office, was confirmed and approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Monday citing a ground in the local government code that there was already a long lapse in the 30-day reglamentary period for it to act on the measure, and thus it is deemed automatically approved.

Tagum City Councilor Nicandro "Nickel" Suaybaguio Jr.

The previous city council approved City Ordinance No. 370, otherwise known as the “Housing Code of the City of Tagum” last December 29, 2009. It was transmitted to the SP January this year.

It was authored and actively pushed by city Councilor Nicandro “Nickel” Suaybaguio Jr.

By late February the measure was referred already to the human settlement, planning and development committee chaired by former Boardmember Roger “Dangpanan” Israel, who subsequently sought legal opinion from the Provincial Legal Office headed by Atty. Jennifer Namoc.

Namoc’s legal opinion was released and duly received by Israel’s committee by the first week of  March this year, informed a PLO staffer Wednesday.

The measure stuck in Israel’s committee without action until the May polls came when Israel ran and lost in his vice gubernatorial bid to reelected Vice Gov. Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr.

By third week of July this year, after the polls, the SP had committee reorganization and Boardmember Atty. Raymond Joey Millan took over the chairmanship of the human settlement committee.

The pending measure was supposed to be jointly referred to human settlement committee and to the committee on laws, resolutions and ordinances, which is also chaired by Millan.

Unfortunately, it stuck at SP secretary office before it was treated a matter under the letter/communication/request in last Monday’s session  when it was deemed to be already automatically approved after two provincial board compositions failed to act on it within the 30-day reglamentary period required by Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, for the SP to act on resolutions and ordinances approved by municipal sanggunians.

The SP approval came in about 9 nine after it reached the SP last January.

When it was tackled anew in the plenacy last Monday, SP secretary Dennis Dean Castillo said that in his opinion the required 30-day reglamentary peiord had long expired and that it should be approved by the body, although he said, on the inquiry of president Vice Gov. Suaybaguio, it would still depend on the SP whether or not it would refer the measure anew to a committee.

Castillo said that “the legal opinion is quite unfavorable to the city ordinance of Tagum”.

Boardmember Millan, who belonged to the last city council which approved the housing code ordinance, said that the legal opinion is only “recommendatory in nature” and that the committee “may adopt or may disregard it”.

He added that there was already no more need for new committee referral or a committee review and “what is only needed is the certification from the SP secretary” that there was already a lapse in the reglamentary period and it is already deemed approved. The body agreed.

Efforts of this paper to obtain a copy of the legal opinion proved futile Wednesday as the assistant SP secretary refused to furnish a copy saying that the media should get it from the “office where it emanated”. Castillo was not in his office Wednesday morning.

A PLO staffer also refused to furnish one saying he needed permission from Atty. Namoc, who was on travel  in  Cagayan de Oro City. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

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