BACOLOD City Councilor Al Victor Espino expressed dismay over their inaugural session on Wednesday, July 3, for discussing other matters other than the committee assignments to the councilors.
“This is the first time in my 12 years as a city councilor that during the inaugural session, we discussed other matters other than the committee assignments to the councilors,” Espino said.
He said that he also questioned these on the floor because this is a precedent to the future members of the august body.
“We were taking up correspondences with no committee referrals and there were some chairmen of the committees who were also absent,” he added.
On Wednesday afternoon, the first regular session of the 10th City Council of Bacolod was held at the Sangguniang Panlungsod Session Hall which was presided by Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran.
Present were Councilors Espino, Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Ana Marie Palermo, Bartolome Orola, Israel Salanga, Wilson Gamboa Jr., Archie Baribar, Carl Lopez, Lady Gles Pallen, Ayesha Villaflor, and Simple Distrito.
Absent were Councilors Dindo Ramos and Elmer Sy.
Of the 12 newly elected councilors, 11 are from Grupo Progreso. The 12th councilor is Gamboa from the ABB-MKK.
The chairmanship of the committees have been discussed and assigned it to the councilors, but Espino said the vice-chairperson of the committees was not assigned to the councilors who can take up the referrals.
“That’s specifically the reason that you don’t take up any other matters except if it’s very important or emergency matters. For me, the inaugural session is to take up only the assignment of the chairmanship committees. I manifested these on the floor for the purposes of setting up precedent,” he said.
Espino was assigned as chairperson of the committee on information and communication technology, committee on police matters, peace and order, and illegal drugs, and committee on ways and means.
Familiaran said they received the letter requests that need their action.
He said their next session will be on July 10, and the received requests involves road closure on July 6 and 7.
“So we have to act on it or else those programs or activities will not be held. We are on suspended rules and in fact, it’s not included in our rules that in the first session we will only take up a committee assignment,” he added.
For the vice-chairperson of the committees, Familiaran noted that it stipulated on their internal rules that the chairperson will choose his/her vice-chair.
Other urgent matters that were discussed during the inaugural session were the request of Mayor Evelio Leonardia for the passage of a resolution authorizing Atty. Juan Orola, designated as city administrator or in his absence Atty. Allyn Luv Dignadice, Administrative Officer IV and Giovanni Balalilhe, City Treasurer to sign/countersign all documents and checks of the various accounts at the deposit banks under the name of the City Government of Bacolod, as well as the passage of a resolution authorizing Familiaran and Balalilhe and/or, in their absence, their duly respective representative to sign checks issued by the city government drawn against the funds of the SP.
Familiaran said his request and the city mayor’s request for the passage of the resolutions authorizing them to sign checks are also needed since it’s a requirement in the banks, but the mayor’s request was not approved and it returned to the City Mayor’s Office for some clarification.
“Our action will not do harm. The majority members of the council agreed to discuss the urgent matters so there’s no problem on it because it’s an urgent request. That’s his (Espino) personal opinion and we also respect that. We are very dynamic and reasonable,” he said.