Draft IRR receives support of Comelec commissioner-A A +A
Sunday, July 1, 2012
COMMISSIONER Rene V. Sarmiento of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday said he supports the move of Cebu’s civil society to draft implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for local sectoral representatives (LSR) in all levels of governance.
Speaking before the forum on “Popularizing and Strengthening Democracy through Local Sectoral Representatives,” Sarmiento advised sectoral leaders to write to Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, attach the draft IRR and request that he (Sarmiento) be tasked to handle it.
The forum was organized by Kaabag sa Sugbo, University of Cebu (UC), UC law students, the Cebu City Government and the Urban Poor Alliance-Cebu.
Sarmiento said this is the first time people from nongovernment organizations and people’s organizations submitted a draft IRR for the full implementation of Local Government Code provisions regarding the LSR.
According to Sarmiento, Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos of the UC Law Department and her husband, UC Law Dean Dante Ramos, visited his office in Manila and submitted the IRR drafted by law students.
“When I was showed the draft IRR, I told myself that these law students are future leaders. They are drafting rules to empower the vulnerable. I will support them,” Sarmiento said.
Ramos said the draft is a template for a framework. There will be consultations among sectoral groups like labor, women, youth, urban poor and senior citizens, she said.
The Constitution and the Local Government Code of 1991 allow at least three sectoral representatives in municipal and city councils and provincial boards. With labor and the women sectors already identified as representatives, another representative must be chosen among the urban poor, senior citizens and youth sectors, among others.
Ramos said that while the Local Government Code tasked the Comelec to come up with the IRR for sectoral representations in local governance, they are also inviting the Department of Interior and Local Government to participate since it supervises local government units (LGUs).
The panel of reactors in yesterday’s forum included Ramos, Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon, San Francisco, Camotes Vice Mayor Alfredo Arquillano, Labangon Barangay Councilor Zenaida Amores, Art Barrit of the Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines of the Philippines and Marlene Paracuelles of the National Anti-Poverty Commission.
Dizon said most LGUs are against sectoral representations because this entails additional cost. But he said the cost of empowering the poor is worth it, recalling the statement of the late president Ramon Magsaysay that those who have less in life must have more in law.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 02, 2012.