Tackling admin raps vs baragay execs ‘not council’s job’
Alicia Ivy L. Chua (The Freeman) - January 26, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Who should first tackle complaints against barangay officials accused of being remiss in their duty to clear rivers of septage installations that lead to the rivers?

The Committee on Barangay Affairs said it is its duty to call for a conciliation hearing after if an administrative complaint has been filed against an elected barangay official.

This was in response to the request of the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO) that all mediation proceedings at the Committee on Barangay Affairs be submitted directly to the City Council.

Councilor Franklyn Ong, chairman of the Committee on Barangay Affairs, wrote a letter to lawyer John Jigo Dacua, former CCENRO officer-in-charge, in reference to his request last November 21.

Ong said that a conciliation hearing is a duty of the committee as provided under City Ordinance No. 1510 or “An Ordinance Prescribing the Procedure for the Filing and Disposition of Administrative Complaints against Elected Barangay Officials.”  The ordinance was authored by then councilor, now Vice Mayor Michael Rama.

Among the functions of the Barangay Affairs Office is to provide technical assistance to the mayor, and to serve as the city’s coordinating body, since it has supervisory function over the barangays.

The Local Government Code of 1991, particularly Section 61 (c) and 62, provides that the City Council is the proper venue for the filing of complaints against any elective barangay officials whose decision shall be final and executory.

But according to Ong, the ordinance, which is “a specific law,” prevails over the provisions of the code.

“Thus, a request to bypass the Committee on Barangay Affairs will not only create a defect in the procedural requirements in the disposition of an administrative complaint against an elective barangay official, but it may, likewise, render the entire proceeding null and void,” said Ong.

It can be recalled that Dacua requested that all the processes, grievances, mediation relating to government officials with infractions will no longer be submitted to the Barangay Affairs Office, and that these matters should be taken up directly to City Council.

Dacua said that during the Guadalupe river cleanup drive last year, they were able to apprehend some barangay officials after their inspection on proper septage on the houses living near the river.  JMD (FREEMAN)

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