New council committee heads take oath

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Thursday, September 4, 2014


THE new chairpersons of each standing committee at the 17th Davao City Council on Wednesday took their oath before President Pro-Tempore Councilor Karlo Bello.

However, the oath taking was delayed for 30 minutes as the councilors were confused as to who should administer the oath.

Councilor Bonifacio Militar said it has always been the city mayor or vice mayor who will administer the oath-taking.

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"We might be proceeding on an illegal act," Militar said.

Citing the council house rules, Floor leader Councilor Bernard Al-ag said the presiding officer takes charge of the oath taking.

Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte was on leave Wednesday, hence, President pro-tempore Councilor Karlo Bello took charge.

The argument lasted for about 30 minutes.

The members resolved when Militar moved to "give Bello the authority to be the presiding officer".

Al-ag, former president pro-tempore, is the new council floor leader, replacing Councilor Tomas Monteverde IV.

Monteverde told Sun.Star Davao he accepts the changes, adding that "the floor leader serves at the pleasure of the members".

However, it was learned that the re-shuffling was done due to collective concerns of the members.

Some councilors allegedly complained about how Monteverde failed to consult them on various matters.

When asked about his reaction through text message, Monteverde refused to comment.

He also did not reply to Sun.Star Davao when asked if he was informed about the re-organization.

He earlier said the re-shuffling was not about any conflict among council members.

The committees that have new chairpersons are: transportation and communication (formerly assigned to Councilor Leo Avila and now with Monteverde); rules, privileges, laws and ordinances (from Monteverde to Al-ag); peace and public safety (from Councilor Edgar Ibuyan Sr. to Councilor Nilo Abellera Jr.); environment (from Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang to Councilor Leo Avila); city-owned properties (from Militar to Ibuyan); government enterprises and privatization (from Abellera to Councilor Rene Elias C. Lopez); sub-committee on housing and subdivision development - high-end project (from Councilor Rachel Zozobrado to Militar); and sub-committee on housing and subdivision development - medium projects (from Al-ag to Advincula).

Meanwhile, Joanne Bonguyan, who previously resigned from her chairmanship on committee on information technology, was reassigned to handle it.

Mahipus, the lone legislator who was not given a single committee for 13 months, now chairs committee on games and amusement.

The revamp also included replacing Militar by Councilor Victorio U. Advincula Jr. as assistant floor leader.

Bello is the new president pro-tempore.

Al-ag said the revamp was ordered by Vice Mayor Paolo Z. Duterte.
"This is the mid of our term. Vice Mayor wanted to give everyone a committee," Al-ag said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 05, 2014.

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