By Pilar Macrohon, PRIB | Senate of the Philippines
The Senate has approved a bill amending the Local Government Code which requires complaints against elective officials of a component city to be filed before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan instead of the Office of the President.
Sen. Bongbong Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, said Senate Bill No. 2929 will strengthen the devolution of the local government units by granting governors disciplinary jurisdiction over elected local officials of a component city.
Under Section 61 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, complaints against mayors are filed before the Office of the President, Marcos said.
Section 63 of R.A. 7160, he added, grants provincial governors the authority to issue preventive suspension against mayors and other elective officials of component cities when evidences against their offenses are strong.
"The governor has the preliminary duty to determine the strength of the evidence before he or she can issue a preventive suspension," Marcos said.
He said the governor relies heavily on the recommendations of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan based on its initial findings as to whether a preventive suspension is necessary.
"It is more reasonable that the complaints be filed before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan since it is after all responsible for the preliminary investigation of the complaints against the mayors," Marcos pointed out.
"We propose this amendment to Section 61 of R.A. 7160 because we feel that the devolution of the Local Government Units will best be served if the province will have full disciplinary jurisdiction over elected officials of a component city," he added.