Joy Young to colleagues: Stop replicating passed or proposed ordinances
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Joy Augustus Young urged his fellow councilors to do their “homework” when it comes to proposing ordinances in order to avoid duplication with existing or already proposed legislations.
Young said has raised the concern multiple times in session, starting when Councilor Raymond Garcia of the majority bloc proposed an ordinance for the creation of the Cebu City College.
Young pointed out that a Cebu City College Ordinance was already passed on February 22, 2012 but it was not implemented due to the moratorium imposed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) on the establishment of new city colleges at that time.
Furthermore, CHEd has also ruled that the old ordinance has to be repealed before a new one could be passed.
“If you repeal it, it is an insult to the councilors who drafted that complicated ordinance,” said Young in a phone interview with CDN Digital on Saturday, November 9, 2019.
Young was the city’s vice mayor and presiding officer of the city council when the ordinance was passed in 2012.
The issue of the redundancy of the ordinance creating the city college was resolved during the city council’s session on October 22, 2019 where it was decided to amend the 2012 ordinance instead of repealing it.
But the “copying” of ordinances was repeated again on November 5, 2019, when administration Councilor Jerry Guardo proposed “An Ordinance on Green Architecture, Imposing Penalty and for Other Purpose,” which was similar to a proposed ordinance of Councilor Nestor Archival of the opposition bloc.
On September 24, 2019, Archival proposed “An Ordinance Requiring the Design, Construction, or Retrofitting of Buildings, and other Structures to Meet the Minimum Standards of A Green Infrastructure, Providing Incentives Therefore and for Other Purposes,” which is currently being reviewed by the committee on environment.
In the session on Tuesday, November 5, Archival pointed out that the two ordinances are so similar that Guardo’s ordinance seemed to be a “copied out” version of his own proposed ordinance.
“Magsige nalang tag pangopya ani? (Do we keep copying each other’s works?)” said Archival during the session.
Guardo, however, insisted that his ordinance was different because it focused on the designs of new buildings before their building permits could be approve, while that of Archival involved mainly the retrofitting of existing buildings to make them compliant to green infrastructure standards.
Guardo said he is willing to collaborate with Archival to combine the two proposed ordinances.
Young, who belongs to the opposition bloc, said this “repeat performance” of the administration councilors only shows their lack of effort to study the legislation already passed and even the legislations proposed by their colleagues.
He said this is a waste of time for the council, adding that the redundancy could have been avoided if the councilors only do their research “properly.”
“Do your homework. Dili kay mag file tag ordinansa nya naa na diay national nga balaod ana or naa na diay previous ordinance ana. Akong advice sa mga konsehal labi nang mga bag-o nga magresearch og tarong,” said Young.
(Do your homework. Let us not file ordinances that is already an existing national law or ordinance. My advice to the councilors, especially the new ones is to research properly.)
There are at least three rookie councilors in the 15th Sangguniang Panglungsod, including Councilors Prisca Niña Mabatid, Donaldo Hontiveros, and ex-officio member Jessica Resch, the president of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation.
Garcia and Guardo are not new to council serving at least two consecutive terms before winning in the May 2019 elections.
Young said he already raised the concerns of “copying ordinances” to Vice Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama, who promised to address the problem by ensuring that he will review the agenda of the regular sessions thoroughly before approving them.
Rama said he will ensure that the councilors with “repeat ordinances” will be called out even before they present their work before the council./elb
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