PB to hold special session, to tackle ‘Davide authority’ issue
Resource Center Project
Will the proposed resolution giving authority to Gov. Hilario Davide III to enter into a contract with WT Construction for the building of a P1.3 billion 20-storey resource center be passed today (Dec. 19) or will it be decided next year?
Last Monday was the last regular session of the Provincial Board where the proposed resolution was discussed and the voting for its passing raised questions if the yes votes constituted a simple majority, which led to a laying of the proposal on the table and seeking the opinion of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Eight voted for the passing of the resolution, six opposed it, while three others abstained from voting.
This will be discussed further today with the Provincial Board holding a special session, which was confirmed in a phone interview by a personnel from the Office of the Secretary to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (OSSP).
DILG-7 Legal Officer Ian Kenneth Lucero, in a follow up interview on Wednesday, said the “simple majority is majority of the members present constituting a quorum.”
Lucero, however, refused to discuss how to come up with the count of the simple majority, with 17 members present, and if the 8 votes have met the simple majority requirement.
In a separate interview, Lawyer Daryl Largo, a Local Government Law professor of the University of San Carlos – School of Law, said that with 17 members present, the resolution needs at least 9 yes votes to be passed.
“The number of abstention is irrelevant to the determining of simple majority. Regardless if they abstained, their presence is still counted so the total would still be 17,” Largo told Cebu Daily News.
Since the resolution on question would take the effect of entering into a liability on the part of the provincial government, Largo clarified that it should be qualified majority and not simple majority that should be achieved to pass the resolution.
Qualified majority is the majority of all the elected and qualified members of the board.
In this case, the Provincial Board has 17 members composed of 14 elected members, two from each legislative district, and three ex-officio members composed of the presidents of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC), Sangguniang Kabataan Federation and the Philippine Councilors League (PCL).
“The Local Government Code is specific on the guidelines that if the voting is to make the LGU pay, that is called creating indebtedness, the requirement is qualified majority,” said Largo.
“Even if mag-simple majority, 9 votes gihapon ang needed because all of them are present,” he added.
PB Member Sun Shimura (Cebu 4th district), who was one of those who opposed the proposed resolution, said that it would be proper to ratify the authority for the release of the loan first before passing the authority to sign the contract while PB Member Victoria Corominas-Toribio (Cebu 3rd district) said there were still other projects that should be given priority over the construction of the resource center.
PB Member Christopher Baricuatro (7th district), who abstained from voting, said that the project was good but it would not be the best time to implement it.
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