SP Gears Towards Codification of General Ordinances
Section Three Article X of the 1987 Constitution provides that “… Congress shall enact a local government code which shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization with effective mechanisms of recall, initiative, and referendum, allocate among the different local government units their powers, responsibilities, and resources, and provide for the qualifications, election, appointment and removal, term, salaries, powers and functions and duties of local officials, and all other matters relating to the organization and operation of the local units”.
Among the vital mechanisms of decentralization is the intensification of the local government units’ capability to strengthen, develop and improve its organization and administration. Its ability to implement reforms and enforce Ordinances effectively is mere manifestations of a well-organized and efficient governance.
As the legislative arm of the local government, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan just like any other offices has a propensity to misplace important legislative documents especially if it was enacted a long time ago. It must be noted that so long as it is not obsolete, amended or repealed, an Ordinance remains effective and enforceable. Continued accumulation of Ordinances and documents could lead to legislative replication or inconsistencies in the enforcement of legislative measures.
The Province of Misamis Occidental has a very rich repository of legislative enactments since its founding on November 8, 1929. However, it is very unfortunate that a large chunk of these treasured documents were lost and destroyed mostly perhaps due to our misappreciation of its importance or lack of special ability to handle, and take extra care of documents especially those antiquated and brittle ones, among other reasons. It took some time for the stewards of these documents to realize its prime importance and the necessity to preserve, protect and guard the same with sincerity.
In the 2012 rating conducted by the DILG through the Local Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS) the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Misamis Occidental obtained a fair marking. The Sanggunian was disappointed by the said rating and thereafter made appropriate actions to improve the same.
Legislation must be well understood by all parties concerned together with the executive and legislative branch. This phase of governance had been facing serious issues such as replication and erroneous understanding of laws.
In consequence, unless a system or scheme is employed to ease up the keeping and retrieval of these documents, office competency in this area would severely be affected.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Misamis Occidental in its effort to preserve the ordinances enacted by our honorable legislators, past and present, is determined to undertake the codification of the general ordinances of this province.
Codification is the systematic process of collecting, inventorying and classifying legislation by subject of law or practice, revising, supplementing and consolidating provisions to efficiently and effectively inform the public through an enactment of its end product – a CODE. (Simplified Manual on Codification: A Guidebook on Harmonization of Local Laws).
During the Executive-Legislative Agenda (ELA) of the Province of Misamis Occidental in Manila last year, codification was among the prioritized deliverables. Thus, on November 8, 2013, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Misamis Occidental under the able leadership of Hon. Aurora Virginia M. Almonte, enacted Resolution No. 325, authorizing the Sanggunian to undertake the codification of general ordinances and Resolution No. 326, authorizing the Honorable Governor to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with Mr. Cedric. G. Dayta, Sangguniang Bayan Secretary of Lugait, Misamis Oriental to conduct capability building seminar to the Board Members and SP staff for the said undertaking.
Consequently, a workshop/seminar was conducted last March 11 to 13, 2014 at the Paglaum Hostel in Plaridel, Misamis Occidental, capacitating the Office of the Secretary to the Sanggunian staff and the Legislative Staff of Board Members involved in the project which comprises the Technical Working Group.
Presently, the Sanggunian staff is still on the process of compiling, inventorying and classifying the ordinances enacted by previous legislators and hopefully in the coming year, the Province of Misamis Occidental through the Sangguniang Panlalawigan could come-up with its Code of General Ordinances.