Senate Proposes Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s Disciplinary Jurisdiction over Elected Officials of Component Cities
On August 30, 2012, the Senate Committee on Local Governments heard Senate Bill No. 2929, a bill which proposes to amend the Local Government Code of 1991 by transferring to the sangguniang panlalawigans the disciplinary jurisdiction over administrative complaints filed against elected officials of component cities. Under Section 61 of the Local Government Code (R.A. 7160), disciplinary cases of elected officials of component cities are filed directly with the Office of the President.
Sen. Marcos explained that the proposed shift in the disciplinary jurisdiction would strengthen the principle of devolution of powers to the local government units, being more in accord with the Constitution. He stressed that the objective of devolution would be best served if the province has full disciplinary jurisdiction over elected officials of a component city. Further, Sen. Bongbong said that it would strengthen the interoperability of concerned local government units. Under the proposed law, the participation of the Office of the President is not entirely done away with, but rather would be the proper forum to appeal the decisions of the sangguniang panlalawigan on the said disciplinary cases.
Former Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., who authored the Local Government Code of 1991, commended the efforts to pass the Senate measure. The League of Cities of the Philippines, represented by Jeremy Nishimori, echoes the sentiments in support of the bill.
The Senate Committee on Local Governments is expected to file its report on the bill for plenary consideration before the Senate adjourns its session on September 21.