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Cebu News

Cabinet execs back provincial ordinance

Le Phyllis F. Antojado-Orillaneda - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  At least two cabinet officials are supporting the Cebu provincial ordinance that requires national government agencies to consult with the Capitol before implementing their programs and projects in the province.

Special Assistant to the President, Secretary Anton Lagdameo Jr., and DILG Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. expressed support to the local law during their visit to Governor Gwendolyn Garcia yesterday morning.

Provincial Ordinance No. 2023-02 states that “all National Government Agencies and Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) that will be implementing national policies, programs and/or projects within the territorial jurisdiction of the Province of Cebu shall coordinate, consult, and involve the Province of Cebu in the planning and implementation of these policies, programs or projects” in accordance with Section 2(c), 25(b), 26 and 27 of the Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code.

This means that prior to the implementation of any program and project, a government agency must first submit the necessary documents to the Provincial Board.

Violation carries a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of not more than a year.

Last Monday, Garcia also clarified that the passage of the ordinance has nothing to do with the issue between the Capitol and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) over the handling of the African Swine Fever (ASF) in the province.

“This is not only meant for BAI this is meant for all national government agencies” Garcia said, adding that their goal is to have “harmony of efforts and performance between the national government agencies and the Province of Cebu so that we can achieve optimum results. And optimum results redound to the benefit not just for the Province of Cebu but for the benefit of the National Government as well”

Lawyer Rory Jon Sepulveda, a Capitol consultant, said the ordinance was drafted even before the issue between the Capitol and BAI has started, and that it is meant to “address the dysfunctional relationship between thte national agencies and the local government units”

The Capitol Information Office reported that Abalos will be sending lawyers either from the Executive Assistant’s Office or the Solicitor General from Manila today to attend the meeting of Capitol officials and national line agencies on the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) of the ordinance.

As a former local chief executive in Mandaluyong City, Abalos said he understands the issue of the implementation of projects and programs between the local government units and the national government agencies.

Today, there will be a meeting between the Capitol and the first batch of national agencies that include CHED, Department of Agriculture, DENR, DepEd, DILG, DOLE, DOH, DOT and DPWH to discuss the provincial ordinance.

The next meeting is set for May. – LPM (FREEMAN)

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