P-Board estooped in halting ordinance

By operation of law, the  inaction or failure of  of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board)  to act with 30 days  on an ordinance submitted before it for review and  is  hereto deemed valid according to  Councilor Alan Gel Cordova chairman of the committee on franchises and public utilites.

Cordova cited provisions of Section 56 of the Local Government Code (LGC) which states that an ordinance submitted for review by the provincial board must be acted upon within 30 days after submission, otherwise it will be presumed or deemed valid and constitutional.

The City Council approved the MCH Association Ordinance on  Nov 14, 2018  and was submitted Nov 16 to the provincial board. It was only taken up by the provincial Board Jan 14, 2019  and finally disapproved the said ordinance on Feb 6, 2019… or three  months  after the mayor signed the MCH ASSOCIATION ORDINANCE. Therefore  by operation of law SUCH  city ordinance is now deemed valid and operational, according to author Councilor Cordova.

The bad news is, the provincial board even on its fatal inaction, still disapproved the MCH….ORDINANCE on the issue of constitutionality. The board said, the Constitution says that  no one can be forced to be a member of any organization such as    a tricycle association, therefore, the city ordinance which so requires,  is unconstitutional.

But the City Council argued on its legality saying that such requirement Is  part of the police  and regulatory power of the City Government in order to protect the tricycle industry form being driven by colorum, unregistered, unknown, drivers  who just hop “into the saddle” and drive and disappear   if  they violate traffic laws.

Colorum drivers may be criminals or terrorists casing and driving around the city. They can be rapists ,jail escapees  or robbers on the lose  and they drive tricycle for a fee, with gusto, at the risk of the security of the citizens. That is why the ordinance requires that all drivers must belong to a legitimate organization who will police their own ranks, and ran the risk of  suspending its board of directors of the organization,   if they cannot police and sanitize their ranks for the safety and security of citizens.

Cordova authored Ordinance No. 60 that requires pedicab drivers to be members of any tricycle association in the city before they are issued mayors’ permits. The city ordinance was crafted to address issues on safety and security as well as institute disciplinary actions on erring pedicab drivers through their respective presidents.

Sectoral desk head Bert Aquino said it is not even necessary for a tricycle organization to have a legal personality for it to become valid. The most important thing is that a system of representation is in place, and if they want their respective organization to be legal, is most welcome for them to avail of opportunities.

The right to associate includes the right not to associate, but majority of the lawyers of the city council stressed this is an exception to the rule, attorney and city councilor Karissa Faye Tolentino-Maxino said.

She said the individual right not to associate is only individual in contrast to the interest of the public.

Cordova disclosed a very important feature of the ordinance is that the same is being proposed by a member of the civil society organization.

Said ordinance was submitted to the provincial board for review on November 16, 2018 but was tackled only on February 4, 2019, almost three months after contrary to what is provided by law which is for them to act on it within 30 days after submission.

On its February 4, 2019 session, said ordinance was declared unconstitutional despite endorsement of the provincial attorney.

Cordova was told the ordinance was approved on the early part of the provincial board regular session on that day but approval was withdrawn during the “other matters” portion and declared the same as invalid.

Movant Board Member Rommel Erames took a legal position consistent with what he cited when the former was city councilor of Dumaguete and he is surprised why Erames took another position, Councilor  Cordova pointed out.

For the sectoral desk, Aquino said it is bound to implement the ordinance unless stopped by the mayor because its mandate is to really help these small groups organize and form associations complete with officers.