Bacaltos says existing IRP is unfair; calls for letting Davide talk in deliberations

By: Rosalie Abatayo - CDN Digital | December 03,2019 - 10:22 PM

Vice Governor Hilario Davide III | CDND Photo / Gerard Vincent Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Will Vice Governor Hilario Davide III finally have the chance to participate in the discussions of the Provincial Board (PB)?

This scenario may be possible if the board members agree to amend the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s Internal Rules of Procedure (IRP), particularly the provision that prohibits him from stepping down to deliver a speech or sponsor a legislation.

First District Board Member Raul Bacaltos filed on Monday, December 2, a resolution seeking to omit the provision that restricts Davide from participating in the deliberations.

Bacaltos’ proposed revision allows Davide to sponsor a resolution or ordinance, ask questions and make suggestions during plenary discussions.

These provisions were present in the previous IRPs of the Provincial Board.

Although Bacaltos is an identified ally of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, the board member said it is outright unfair to silence Davide.

“Our current house rules prohibits him from participating, which is unfair. If you are the presiding officer and you have clarifications, you cannot join in the deliberations? You cannot ask questions or make suggestions?” Bacaltos told CDN Digital in mixed English and Cebuano.

Being the chairman of the Committee on Laws and Review of Ordinances, Bacaltos sponsored the present IRP of the 15th Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

Bacaltos said he manifested during the inaugural session last July 1 that the IRP should be amended later on because there were provisions that he, himself, disagrees with.

“Naghimo gyud ko og manifestation later nga approved pero to be amended later kay duna gyud certain provisions ana nga wa gyud ko ganahi. Kana gud, gi-submit na ang house rules, ultima ora na. Monday in time for the inaugural session. Kinahanglan maaprubahan to namo kay aron di mag-create og chaos,” Bacaltos explained.

(I made a manifestation before that the IRP, although approved, must be amended later on because there were certain provisions that I did not agree with. The IRP was submitted on the day of the inaugural session so we had no choice to approve it maintain order in the proceedings.)

Bacaltos’ move to seek the amendment of the IRP is also prompted by a letter that Davide sent to him on October 31, 2019 asking for the said amendment.

“I hope the members of the board will be receptive to my request because I feel that as an elected official, I also have the same right as any member to participate in the deliberations. I have as much right as they have to take part in any discussion,” Davide said in a separate interview.

“After all, I represent the voice of not only those who elected me but of all the constituents of the province. It is my duty to stand up there to speak my mind,” Davide added.

But Davide said he is not keen on being part of any committee in the Provincial Board.

Bacaltos said he will still discuss the proposed amendment with his fellow board members in a meeting with the governor on Wednesday, December 4.

“Ako gyud nang barugan. Gusto nako amendahon gyud na nga povision sa among Internal Rules and Procedure because he is a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Member ang vice governor. Siya man gani ang head namo unya di na hinuon siya katingog,” said Bacaltos.

(I will make a stand. I really want this provision of the Internal Rules of Procedure be amended because he is a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. The vice governor is a member. He is even our leader. Why is he not allowed to voice out his thoughts?)

Bacaltos said politics should be set aside in their processes because the election season has long been over. / celr

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