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The minority bloc of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Tagbilaran had spoken up regarding the stir they made in their first session last Friday when they refused to accept the standing committees assigned to them for chairmanship.

Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso had earlier pointed out that each of the city councilors is assigned a committee.


Amid the objection of Councilors Oscar Glovasa, Philipp Besas, Nerio Zamora II, Lucille Lagunay and ex-officio member Shane Karaan of the Sangguniang Kabataan, the passage of the resolution mustered the majority vote during the July 5 regular session--the first for the 12th SP of Tagbilaran City.

The vice mayor said everything was in proper procedure and that it would then be up to these five SP members to sustain or relinquish their chairmanship later.

On behalf of the minority bloc, Glovasa yesterday explained that all they wanted was for the rules in assigning committees to be followed.

Glovasa was referring to the 2007 Revised Code of Rules of Administrative Ordinance.

In the opinion of the come-backing councilor, what should have been done was for the SP members to meet, before adopting any move.

He said what happened during the session last Friday was that the assignment of committee chairmanship and recognizing the majority floor leader, assistant majority floor leader and the minority floor leader and assistant minority floor leader was yet immature and that it should have been done through a votation.

Glovasa noted that the proposed resolution was attached with Annex A which contained the officers wherein Councilor Adam Relson Jala was named majority floor leader and Councilor Alexander Lim as assistant majority floor leader, Zamora as minority floor leader and Lagunay as assistant minority floor leader.

He explained that based on the rules the majority floor leader and the assistant majority floor leader shall be chosen from the majority or coalition in the SP.

Glovasa also cited that in the present set up, there are four councilors from the party of Mayor John Geesnell Yap II, four from the NPC, and two from LP. Taloto Barangay Captain Faro Cabalit, as ex-officio member representing the Liga ng mga Barangay president, is obviously with Yap's camp and might as well be added to the majority bloc.

As the representative of the SK, Karaan, is inclined to join the minority bloc, it would give both the majority and minority blocs five members.

Glovasa understands that Councilor Lim and Councilor Alberta Torralba who are from LP might have coalesced with the ruling party, as indicated in the resolution's attachment that they are with the majority bloc.

He said they cannot question it and in their interpretation the two already coalesced with Yap's group.

"But they cannot also force us into having Zamora and Lagunay as minority floor leader and assistant minority floor leader, respectively, because they should be chosen by the minority party or coalition. So we suppose that they already had a coalition during their meeting maybe on June 25 and they came up with this. Besides we also have the rules about the committees," according to Glovasa.

He said it is stated in the rules that "each standing committee shall have a chairperson and vice chairperson and at least three members who shall be elected by a majority vote of the SP from among its members" and that "no member of the SP shall be a chairperson or vice chairperson of more than three committees. Likewise, no SP member shall be a member of more than six committees".

"There is no mention that each SP member is required to chair a committee," he added.

Glovasa also said that assigning committee chairpersons and members during the meeting prior to the oath-taking or assumption of office of officials before July 1 is improper because it must be chosen by the elected, and they should be voted among the SP members.

"If we meet prior to that date, before July 1, we were not yet councilors. I just did not raise this during the session out of courtesy to the vice mayor. My point was to postpone its approval so we could still talk. Let there be a formal meeting or caucus or perhaps we would start with a seminar--reminder for the experienced councilors and initial instruction for the new ones--for all of us to be fully acquainted of the rules. So, I see it as premature, but it might insult the vice mayor if I said it then, that it was premature," according to Glovasa.

He also said the four of them who belong to the NPC received a dinner invitation from earlier during that time Vice Mayor Antonio Veloso was still an "incoming vice mayor", without any mention of the agenda.

Glovasa said they duly informed the incoming vice mayor then that they could not make it because their party also had an activity at that time.

He also said he sent a letter dated June 20, 2013 to outgoing councilor and now City Administrator Leonides Borja that his group will never become obstructionist in the good programs of the incoming administration of Yap.

Then about two days before the July 5 session, they received the copy of the agenda attached with the proposed resolution which he discussed with fellow councilors in their group--Councilors Zamora, Lagunay and others.

Glovasa also added that he also sees some standing committees that might be better off combined and to dissolve some of them which had received no referrals as attested by the SP secretary.

The returning councilor also said he noticed that during his past stint as councilor, most of the referrals came from the Office of the Mayor.

He expects this to be the same situation this time with the new mayor from the other political party and this is the reason their group refused to chair any committee to avoid being interpreted as obstructionists if some referrals that they not be amenable be referred to their committees.

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