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How People Participate in Governance in the Philippines
HOW PEOPLE PARTICIPATE
in the Philippines
Talk by Nene Pimentel before concerned
citizens at the AHI Office, Makati, on
April 27, 2015
We are talking here of people who are not themselves
serving in government.
We are talking of people who are strictly speaking
outside government service
But, who are responsible for putting people in
public service or working with the latter without
BASIC CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLE
Sovereignty resides in the people and all
government authority emanates from them.
PEOPLE PUT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN
PUBLIC OFFICE: THROUGH
1. THE PRESIDENT
2. THE VICE PRESIDENT
3. 24 SENATORS
4. PARTY-LIST REPRESENTATIVES
REGIONAL GOVERNORS, VICE
GOVERNORS, MEMBERS OF THE
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIESOF THE
1. By Province: Members of the House, Governor, Vice
Governor, Members of the Sangguniang
2. By City* or Municipality: Mayor, Vice Mayor,
Members of the Sangguniang Panlungsud or Bayan;
*Some Cities elect their own Representatives
3. By Barangay: Barangay Captain, Members of the
ADDITIONAL ELECTED OFFICIALS FOR SP/SB
PROVINCES that have more than five legislative districts,
each district shall have two SP members, without prejudice
to the provisions of Section 2 of Republic Act No. 6637.
Sangguniang Barangay members shall be elected at large.
The Presidents of the league of sangguniang members of
component cities and municipalities shall serve as ex officio
members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Sangguiang
Panlunsod, and Sangguiang Bayan (as amended by R.A.
[MORE ON SECTORAL REPRESENTATIVES]
HOW LOCAL OFFICIALS ARE ELECTED
(Section 41, LG Code)
(a) The governor, vice governor, city mayor, city vice mayor, municipal mayor,
municipal vice mayor, and punong barangay shall be elected at large in
their respective units by the qualified voters therein. [However, the
Sangguniang Kabataan chairman for each barangay shall be elected by the
registered voters of the katipunan ng kabataan, as provided in this Code.]
(b) The regular members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Sangguniang
Panlunsod, and Sangguniang Bayan shall be elected by district as
1st & 2nd class provinces shall have ten regular members;
3rd & 4th class provinces, eight; and
5th & 6th (no more class) provinces, six.
- More on Election of LGU Officials -
PRINCIPAL LAW GOVERNING
LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS:
The Local Government Code
Enacted by Congress in
compliance with the mandate of
Article X of the Constitution.
Fixes the structures, the
powers, and the duties of, and
other matters relative to the
functioning of 4 local
government units (LGUs): (1)
the province; (2) the city; (3)
the municipality, and (4) the
The regional governments
envisioned by the Constitution
for the ARRM and the CAR, are
also local governments in the
sense, among other things, that
they are not the national
government. But we will not
discuss them here in detail.
[There are 17 administrative
regions of the country: 8 in
Luzon; 3 in the Visayas, and 6 in
Mindanao which are AGENTS of
the national government NOT
LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS].
HOW PEOPLE OUT OF GOVERNMENT SERVICE
EXERCISE POLITICAL POWER WITH THOSE IN PUBLIC
By joining People’s or Non-Government Organizations.
This is authorized by Sections 34 and 35 of the LG Code.
Under Sec. 34 - LGUs are mandated to “promote the
establishment and operation of people’s and NGOs to become
active partners in the pursuit of local autonomy.”
In Sec. 35 – LGUs are empowered to establish Linkages with
People’s Organizations and NGOs through: (a) joint ventures
and (b) other cooperative arrangements.
of POs and NGOs working with Government:
(1) delivery certain basic services;
(2) capability building and livelihood projects;
(3) develop local enterprises designed to improve productivity
(4) diversify agriculture;
(5) spur rural industrialization;
(6) promote ecological balance, and
(7) enhance the economic and social well-being of the people.
LGUs MAY ASSIST NGOs
Under Section 36. Assistance to People’s and Non-
LGUs are authorized - through their local chief executive
and with the concurrence of the sanggunian concerned –
to assist POs, and NGOs financially or otherwise in their
economic, socially oriented, environmental or cultural
projects within their territorial jurisdiction.
NGO.PO in PBACs
Section 37. Local Prequalification, Bids and Awards Committee
A local PBAC in every province, city and municipality is primarily
responsible for the conduct of prequalification of contractors,
bidding, evaluation of bids and the recommendation of awards
concerning local infrastructure projects.
CHAIRMAN of PBAC
The governor or the city or municipal mayor shall act as the chairman.
MEMBERS of PBAC
(1) The chairman of the appropriations committee of the sanggunian
(2) A representative of the minority party in the sanggunian
concerned, if any, or if there be none, one (1) chosen by said
sanggunian from among its members;
(3) The local treasurer;MORE MEMBERS
(4) Two representatives of NGOs that are represented in the local
development council concerned, to be chosen by the organizations
(5) Any practicing CPA from the private sector, to be designated by
the local chapter of the PICPA, if any.
COA Representatives shall observe the
proceedings of such committee and shall certify
that the rules and procedures for requalification,
bids and awards have been complied with.
OTHER EXAMPLES OF PUBLIC OFFICES WHERE
INDIVIDUALS MAY BECOME MEMBERS:
I. LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS
Sec. 98. Creation, Composition and Compensation.
Every province, city, or municipality shall have its school board.
THE COMPOSITION OF LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD OF THE PROVINCE:
The governor and the division superintendent of schools as co-chair;
MEMBERS OF PROVINCIAL SCHOOL BOARD
1. The Chairman of the Education Committee of the SP;
2. The provincial treasurer;
[3. The representative of the pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan in the
4. The duly elected president of the provincial federation of PTAs;
5. The duly elected representative of the teachers’ organizations in the province,
6. The duly elected representative of the nonacademic personnel of public
schools in the province, as members.
CITY SCHOOL BOARD
CO-CHAIR: City Mayor and City Superintendent of Schools.
1. The Chair of the education committee of the Sangguniang
2. The City Treasurer;
3. [The representative of the Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang
Kabataan in the Sangguniang Panlungsod];
4. The duly elected president of the city federation of PTAs;
5. The duly elected representative of the teacher’s organizations
in the city; and
6. The duly elected representative of the nonacademic
personnel of public schools in the city, as members.
MUNICIPAL SCHOOL BOARD
CO-CHAIR: Municipal Mayor and
the District Supervisor of Schools
1. Chair, Education Committee, SB;
2. Municipal Treasurer;
3. [Representative of SK in SB];
4. Duly Elected President of Municipal Federation of PTAs;
5. Duly elected President of Teachers’ Organization in the
6. Duly elected representative of the non-academic
personnel of public schools in the municipality.
Province or City has two or more School Superintendents,
or Municipality has two or more District Supervisors:
1. The DECS shall designate the co-chair for the
Provincial or City School Board;
2. The Division Superintendent of Schools shall designate
the District Supervisor who shall serve as Co-Chair of the
Municipal School Board.
Local Health Boards.
(Section 102, LGC Code)
Every province, city and municipality shall have their own
Local Health Boards.
Chair: The governor or the mayor concerned.
Vice Chair: The provincial, city or municipal health officer .
1. The chair of the Committee on Health of the Sanggunian
2. A representative from the private sector or NGO
involved in health services; and
3. A representative of the DOH in the LGU concerned.
PO/NGO REPRESENTATIVE IN LOCAL HEALTH
The PO or NGO representative must come from a
PO or NGO engaged in the delivery of health
services. He is chosen by the NGOs or POs in health
services, not by the governor or the mayor.
The representative is expected to ensure that the
interests of the people in health matters are upheld
over narrow partisan considerations.
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCILS
(Section 107, LG Code)
Every Barangay, Municipal, City and Province shall
have its own Local Development Council
Composition of Local Development Councils.
I. Barangay Development Council:
Chair: Punong Barangay
(1) Members of the Sangguniang Barangay;
(2) Representatives of Pos/NGOs operating in the
barangay, who shall constitute not less than 1/4 of the
members of the fully organized council;
(3) A representative of the congressman.
MUNICIPAL OR CITY LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
I. The City or Municipal Development Council
Chair: The Mayor
(1) All punong barangays in the city or municipality;
(2) Chair of the Committee on Appropriations of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan concerned;
(3) The congressman or his representative; and
(4) Representatives of NGOs in the city or municipality, who shall
constitute not less than 1/4 of the members of the fully organized
Provincial Development Council
Chair: The Governor
(1) All mayors of component cities and
(2) The chairman of the committee on
appropriations of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan;
(3) The congressman or his representative; and
(4) Representatives of NGOs operating in the
province, who shall constitute not less than 1/4
of the members of the fully organized council.
Note: The LDCs may call upon any LGU official concerned or any
official of national agencies or offices in the LGU to assist in the
formulation of their respective development plans and public
NEW DUTY OF LDCs
PREPARE FOR DISASTERS, MAN-MADE OR NATURAL
Under R.A. 101211
LOCAL GOVERNMENT DRRMCs
I. At the Regional Level –
Chair: Regional Directors of the OCDs
Vice Chairs: Regional Director of DSWD, DILG, DOST &
[CHAIR IN ARMM: REGIONAL GOVERNOR
Every province, city and municipality shall have a DRRM Council
In Barangays, DRRMC functions are assumed by the BDC
LOCAL DRRM Council
Chair: Governor or Mayor,
Members: Heads of Local
1. Planning Development
3. 3. DSWD;
4. 4. Agriculture;
5. 5. Gender & Development
6. 6. Engineer’s Office;
7. 7. Veterinary Office;
8. Budget Officer;
9. Schools Superintendent;
10. highest officer of the AFP;
12. Director of Fire Bureau;
13. President of ABC;
14. Red Cross representative;
15. 4 CSO members; and,
16. private sector
FUNCTIONS OF LDRRMOs:
1. Plan, coordinate, manage activities consistent with
National Council’s standards.
2. Organize, train coordinate activities;
3. Operate multi-hazard early warning system;
4. 4. conduct disaster monitoring, etc.
5. Identify hazards in their localities;
6. prepare suitable evacuation areas etc.
In every province, city, municipality and barangay, the
LDRRM OFFICE is under the office of the Local Chief
[Governor, Mayor or Punong Barangay]
(Sec. 397,LG code) –
ALL PERSONS WHO ARE:
(1) Actual residents of the barangay for not less than 6
(2) 15 years of age or over;
(3) Citizens of our country; and
(4) Duly registered in the list of barangay assembly
MEETINGS under Sec. 397 (b) –
(1) WHEN: AT LEAST, TWICE A YEAR.
(2) AGENDA: to discuss semestral report of the Sangguniang
Barangay regarding its activities, finances, and problems of the
(3) WHO CALLS THE MEETINGS:
(a) The Punong Barangay, or (b) at least, four members of the
Sangguniang Barangay, or
(b) Upon written petition of, at least, 5 percent of the members
of the Assembly.
NOTICE OF ASSEMBLY MEETING IS REQUIRED:
No barangay assembly meeting shall take place unless
NOTICE is given ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THE MEETING.
EXCEPTION: Agenda deal with public safety or security.
Then, notice within a reasonable time is allowed.
WHO PRESIDES? Punong Barangay unless absent.
Then, SANGGUNIANG BARANGAY MEMBER
who is acting as PB or ANY MEMBER OF B.A. WHO IS
ELECTED DURING THE ASSEMBLY.
THE BARANGAY SECRETARY SHALL ACT AS
SECRETARY OF THE ASSEMBLY
BARANGAY ASSEMBLY CHAIR
BARANGAY ASSEMBLY POWERS
1. Recommend measures for the welfare of the
Barangay or of their City or Municipality
2. Initiate proposals to enact or amend any
ordinance of the LGU concerned;
3. Hear and act on Semestral Report of
NATIONAL PEACE AND ORDER
COMPOSITION: SAME AS NATIONAL SECURITY
1. Director General of the NSC;
2. Executive Secretary;
3. DFA Secretary;
4. DOJ Secretary;
5. Press Secretary;
6. Chair, Dangerous Drugs Board;
7. Presidential Adviser on Peace Process;
8. Director-General, Presidential Management Staff;
9. Director-General, PIA;
10. Chair, Presidential Anti-Graft Commission;
11. C-Staff, AFP;
12. Chief, PNP;
13. Director, NBI, and three representatives from the private sector
appointed by the President.
LAW AND ORDER COUNCIL
Every province, city or municipality is required to have its own LOCAL
PEACE AND ORDER COUNCIL
(Sec. 116, LG Code)
THE NAME SHOULD BE LAW AND ORDER COUNCIL.
COMPOSITION: LAW & ORDER COUNCIL
1. SP representative chosen
2. DSWD Officer;
3. Information Officer;
4. Health Officer;
5. PNP Director;
6. CHR Officer;
7. Army Commanding
8. NBI officer;
9. National Security Council Officer;
10. Provincial Prosecutor’s Office;
11. DILG officer;
12. Dangerous Drugs Board officer;
13. three representatives of
POs/NGOs coming from academic,
civic and religious sectors appointed
by the governor.
REGIONAL LAW AND ORDER COUNCIL
(Executive Order No. 739 of President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo, August 19, 2008
Chair: Appointed by S-DILG and approved by the President
1. Governors, Mayors of Highly Urbanized Cities, Presidents
of the League of Municipalities;
2. Regional counterparts of the members of the national law
and order council;
3. One representative from Mayors of Component Cities
chosen by them; and
4. Three representatives from the private sector appointed
by the Chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council with
the approval of the S-DILG.
CITY OR MUNICIPAL LAW AND ORDER COUNCIL
Members: Officer Counterparts of the Provincial
Law and Order Council Members
FUNCTIONS/DUTIES OF PEACE/ORDER COUNCILS
1. Formulate Strategies to respond to law and order
2. Coordinate law and order plans;
3. Be a forum for dialogue on problems of law and order;
4. Perform such other duties as President may direct;
5. Monitor livelihood and infrastructure programs and
Note: CVOs shall be supervised by PNP Directors
Regional Provincial City/Municip
Simply put, the Slide’s message is that what smaller units of government can
do, should be left to them to do. And that every inch of the way, public
participation, discussion and debate is the name of the game.
By the way, getting the private sector involved in the planning, awarding, and
execution of government contracts should help reduce occasions for public
officials to succumb to corruption.
Here's a Slide that
and programs are
supposed to be
brought to fruition.
The Slide illustrates how the Principle of Subsidiarity works.
IPs’ sectoral reps in the SBs.
Who are the IPs?
Simply put, these are tribal Filipinos who have mainly retained their cultural traditions that
distinguish them from Christian and Muslim Filipinos.
The more precise description of “Indigenous Peoples” is found in the Indigenous
People’s Rights Act (Republic Act No. 8371):
“Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples refer to a group of
people or homogenous societies identified by self-ascription and ascription by others, who
have continuously lived as organized community on communally bounded and defined
territory, and who have, under claims of ownership since time immemorial occupied,
possessed, and utilized such territories, sharing common bonds of language, customs,
traditions, and other distinctive cultural traits, or who have, through resistance to political,
social and cultural inroads of colonization, non-indigenous religions and cultures, became
historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos.
ADDITIONAL DESCRIPTION OF IPs:
“ICCs/IPs shall likewise include peoples who are regarded as
indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which
inhabited the country, at the time of conquest or colonization, or at the
time of inroads of non-indigenous religions or cultures, or the
establishment of present state boundaries, who retain some or all of
their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions, but who
may have been displaced from their traditional domains or who may
have resettled outside their ancestral domains.”.”
A fast research indicates that
the IPs in Northern Luzon
mainly consist of the "various
Igorot tribes, a group that
includes the Bontoc, Ibaloi,
Ifugao, Isneg, Kalinga,
Kankana-ey and Tinguians.”
the Gaddangs of the border
between Kalinga-Apayao, and
Isabela provinces and the
Ilongots of Nueva Vizcaya
Province and Caraballo
IPs in the Visayas and Mindanao
In Western Visayas, the Mangyans of Mindoro.
In Mindanao, they are collectively called, Lumad,
but there are really several tribal groups that
are identified as:
1. Manobos in Bukidnon Province;
2. Bagobos, Mandayas, and Mansakas in the
mountains bordering the Davao Gulf;
3. Subanons of upland areas in the Zamboanga;
4. Mamanuas in the Agusan-Surigao border
5. Bila-an, Tiruray and Tboli in the Cotabato
6. Samals and Bajaus in the Sulu archipelago.
IP sector reps good for ICCs and the Nation
Obviously, It is the Indigenous Peoples who would benefit directly,
and the nation too, if their sectoral representatives are seated in the
Municipal Councils of the places where they predominate - as
suggested by the topic under discussion.
Unfortunately, up to this very date, the sectoral representatives have
yet to be elected.
There were strong objections to seating them in the Sangguniang
Bayan (as well as in other LGU law-making bodies).
The reason, I suggest, is turf. The regular members of the
Sanggunian Bayan do not want to dilute their powers and perks with
the sectoral representatives. Which is a pity.
DELAY PREJUDICES IP RIGHTS
Had the sectoral representatives of the cultural, tribal groups of
IPs been activated, they would have already began earnestly
to promote their just causes and aspirations, especially in the
protection of their Ancestral Domain, their tribal lands, and
other interests since 1990 when the Local Government Code
As it is, the tribal rights of the IPs in the area of local
governance have only been ambiguously recognized, and
therefore, to that extent the IPs have been unnecessarily
GOVERNMENT ACTS TO ACTIVATE
SECTORAL REPRESENTATION IN LGUs
The government passed certain acts that were intended to activate the
sectoral representatives in the local legislative councils:
I. On November 14, 1975,
President Ferdinand Marcos
issued Presidential Decree No.
826 that authorized him or by
his duly representative to
appoint as many sectoral
representatives as there are
members of the Sangguniang
II. On December 22, 1979, Batas Pambansa Blg.
51, Sec. 4, provided for the sectoral
representatives in ... the municipalities
to be appointed by the President (Prime Minister)
"whenever, as determined by the SB, the said sectors are of sufficient
number in the municipality to warrant representation after
consultation with associations and persons belonging to the sector
III. February 10, 1983,
Batas Pambansa Blg.
337 enacted the Local
Government Code of 1983
that ordained that:
Unless otherwise provided by law, the present manner
of election/appointment of representatives of the
agricultural and industrial labor sectors to the
sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan, as the
case may be, shall be maintained."
IV. In 1987, the Philippine
Constitution in its Article X ordained
"Legislative bodies of local governments
shall have sectoral representation as
may be prescribed by law."
That law, however, still has to be
enacted.V. On August 24, 1990, the Supreme Court en banc
ruled on the meaning of that constitutional mandate in
the case of Supangan, Jr. v. Santos (G.R. No. 84663):
The phrase "as may be prescribed by law" does not and
cannot, by its very wording, restrict itself to the
uncertainty of future legislation.
VI. One year later, on October 10, 1991,
Republic Act No. 7160, the Local
Government Code of 1991, was passed.
The Code fixed in Section 41 the manner of
election of the:
The governor, vice-governor xxx municipal
mayor, municipal vice-mayor, and punong
barangay.They shall be elected at large in their respective units by the
qualified voters therein. xxx
The regular members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, xxx and
sangguniang bayan shall be elected by district, as may be provided
for by law. Sangguniang barangay members shall be elected at
large. The presidents of the leagues of sanggunian members of xxx
municipalities shall serve as ex officio members of the sangguniang
Incidentally, the LGC brought billions of pesos into LGU coffers.
EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS IN SP/SB
The presidents of the "liga ng mga barangay xxx elected by their respective
chapters, as provided in this Code, shall serve as ex officio members of the
sangguniang panlalawigan, xxx and sangguniang bayan.
In addition to the regular members, there shall be one sectoral
representative from the women, one from the workers, and one
from any of the following sectors: the urban poor (OR) indigenous
cultural communities (or) disabled persons, or any other sector as
may be determined by the sanggunian concerned within ninety (90)
days prior to the holding of the next local elections as may be
provided for by law.
COMELEC was mandated by law to promulgate the rules and
regulations that would govern the election of sectoral
COMPOSITION OF SANGGUNIANG BAYAN:
Sec. 446. Composition. – (a) The sangguniang bayan, the legislative
body of the municipality, shall be composed of the municipal vice mayor
as the presiding officer, the regular sanggunian members, the president
of the municipal chapter of the liga ng mga barangay, xxx and the
sectoral representatives as members.
The sectoral representatives designated by the Code follow:
(a) one from the women;
(b) one from the agricultural or industrial workers, and
(c) one from other sectors, including the urban poor, (or) indigenous
cultural communities, or disabled persons and as … determined by the
sanggunian concerned within ninety (90) days prior to the holding of
The regular members of the sangguniang bayan and the sectoral
representatives shall be elected in the manner as may be provided for
VII. On November 26, 1991, the Synchronized Elections Law (R.A.
7166) was enacted into law.
It’s Section 3 set the manner of electing the members of the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the Sangguniang Bayan:
“For purposes of the regular elections on May 11, 1992, elective
members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and Sangguniang Bayan
shall be elected at large in accordance with existing laws. However,
beginning with the regular elections in 1995, they shall be elected by
COMELEC “shall promulgate rules and regulations to effectively
provide for the election of sectoral representatives in the
implementation of the Local Government Code."
VIII. On October 27, 1992, the COMELEC issued Resolutions No. 2515 and
Resolution No. 2517 that laid down the rules and the dates for the elections of
the city and municipal sectoral representatives for March 26, 1993, and for the
provincial sectoral representatives for April 16, 1993.
IX. On March 11, 1993, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 2575 that
suspended the elections of local sectoral representatives.
The act of the COMELEC suspending the elections of the sectoral
representatives could have been triggered by the opposition of the League of
Municipalities through a formal resolution (No. 6) dated August 27, 1992.
Having sectoral representatives would only worsen the financial burdens of the
municipalities, the LMP averred.
Four months later, the Philippine Councilors' League followed the example of
the LMP by manifesting its opposition to the move on December 1, 1992.
The sectoral groups, however, did not take things sitting down.
MANDAMUS IN SUPREME COURT
On July 7, 1993, eight sectoral organizations filed a mandamus case with the
Supreme Court. They sought to compel the Comelec to set the date for the
elections of sectoral representatives.
They argued that contrary to the position of those opposing the seating of the
sectoral representatives, adequate legal bases existed for calling of the
elections of sectoral representatives.
They cited the Local Government Code of 1991 and the Synchronized
Elections Law of 1991.
Moreover, the petitioners argued that unless they are represented in the in
local legislative bodies as ordained in Article X of the Constitution, they are
being deprived of a fundamental right.
The case was, however, dismissed by the Supreme Court on
the ground that there was “no justiciable controversy.”
COMELEC TRIES TO RECTIFY FAILURES
XII. On January 17, 1995, the Comelec tried to rectify its failures
to call for the elections of the sectoral representatives by issuing
Resolution No. 2753.
This time, the election body fixed the rules and regulations
governing the elections of sectoral representatives to be
synchronized with the national-local elections of May 8, 1995.
The good intentions of the Comelec, however, were again
frustrated because of the enactment of Republic Act No. 7887.
The law caused the Resolution
to be withdrawn as is explained
more in detail hereunder.
LAW TRIES TO CLEAR UP PROBLEM
XII. On February 20, 1995, Republic Act No. 7887 was
It amended Section 3 of Republic Act No. 7166 in this
"The Commission shall promulgate rules and regulations to
effectively implement the provisions of law which may
hereafter be enacted providing for the election of sectoral
The law made clear that the Comelec could only draw up
the guidelines for the election of the sectoral
Republic Act No. 7887 - that has been
cited as authorizing the election of
sectoral representatives - reveals the
faulty premise of its supposed mandate.
The law states that "the Commission shall promulgate rules and
regulations to effectively implement the provisions of law which
may hereafter be enacted providing for the election of sectoral
It appears, therefore, that the so-called authority in Republic Act
No. 7887 to call for the election of sectoral representatives is
made subject to the future legislation.
On December 20, 1995, Jesse Robredo, the dynamic mayor of
Naga City, approved an ordinance (No. 1995-092) that provided
There shall be one (1) representative in the Sangguniang
Panlungsod from each of the
(2) women and
(3) urban poor sectors of the city
who shall be elected from among the members of the accredited
NGOs and POs in each sector.”
The effectivity of the Ordinance in its Section 17, however, was
made dependent when xxx the relevant provisions on sectoral
representation of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the
Local Government Code of 1991, are actually implemented on a
WHAT’S MISSING HERE?
What, then, is needed to be done to seat the sectoral
representatives in the concerned LGU legislative body?
First, a law that would clearly enable the sectors mentioned in the
Local Government to be represented in the legislative bodies of the
LGUs where appropriate, meaning wherever they have sufficient
numbers to justify their being so represented.
2. In the meantime, we probably have to rely mainly on the
Indigenous People’s Rights Act.
NUMEROUS IPRA RIGHTS
Under this Act, several IP rights are recognized.
Specifically, in Section 16 of IPRA, the following is provided:
“Right to Participate in Decision
Making. ICCs/IPs have the right to
participate fully, if they so choose, at all
levels of decision making in matters
which may affect their rights, lives and
destinies through procedures
determined by them as well as to
maintain and develop their own
indigenous political structures.
Consequently, the State shall ensure
that the ICCs/IPs shall be given
representation in policy making
bodies and other local legislative
In Section 6 of the IRR of IPRA, the following is stated:
“Mandatory Representation in Policy Making Bodies. The ICCs/IPs
shall be provided mandatory representation in all policy making
bodies and in local legislative councils.
ICC/IP representation shall be proportionate to their population, and
shall have the same privileges as the regular members of the
legislative bodies and/or policy making bodies.
Other Provisions Applicable to Local Government
Local Initiative and Referendum
SECTION 120. Local Initiative Defined. – Local initiative is
the legal process where the registered voters of a local
government unit may directly propose, enact, or amend
LOCAL INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM
As early as 1911, the power of initiative was already a popular device in
many cities and states of the United States.
In our country, it was only in 1986, during the deliberations of the
Constitutional Commission, that the power of initiative was put into the
The 1987 Constitution provides in
Section 32, Article VI that “(t)he
Congress shall, as early as possible,
provide for a system of initiative
and referendum, and the exceptions
therefrom, whereby the people can
directly propose and enact laws or
approve or reject any act or law or part
thereof passed by the Congress or local
INITIATIVE & REFERENDUM
In Section 3, Article X of the
Constitution such powers are
included and they are to be exercised
by the people. This section of the
Constitution mandates, among other
things, that the LG Code which
Congress shall enact shall “provide
for a more responsive and
accountable local government
structure instituted through a system
of decentralization with effective
mechanisms for … initiative and
Section 120 of the LG Code fleshes out the
Constitutional mandate on INITIATIVE and
> Empowers Voters to Legislate. The registered voters in an LGU
may propose, enact, amend and even repeal ordinances under
certain circumstances. It recognizes the people’s power to make local
laws or ordinances even if they are not duly elected members of the
local legislative councils or sanggunians.
Direct Initiative. The initiative discussed here is the direct
initiative (as distinguished from indirect initiative) where the voters
start the legislative process for the enactment, amendment or
repeal of an ordinance or resolution in the absence of positive
action of the Sanggunian.
An indirect initiative as defined by R.A. 6735 is a proposal that is
referred to the legislature (legislative body) for action by a required
number of registered voters.
Initiative Strengthens Democracy. A direct initiative
advances measures that are directly proposed,
discussed and voted upon by the voters. Hence, it is a
good means of arousing civic consciousness and
training in popular, direct and democratic action. It is
also a good device to check Sanggunian indifference or
apathy towards measures which the people may wish
enacted for the advancement of their welfare.
SUBJECT MATTERS OF INITIATIVES
All sorts of measures may be the subject of direct
initiative for as long as these are within the competence
of the Sanggunian to enact. In California, for example,
direct initiatives were proposed to enact a fishing
control bill, to regulate the practice of chiropractors, to
levy a special tax to secure a new library, to grant a
franchise to a railroad company, and to prevent
discrimination in the sale of housing and similar bills.
Resolutions Proper Subjects of Initiative. Although
this section speaks only of “ordinance,” the initiative
may be continued in a resolution.
WHO MAY EXERCISE POWER
OF INITIATIVE OR REFERENDUM?
Section 121 of the LG Code empowers all
registered voters of the provinces, cities
municipalities and barangays to propose measures
through initiative or referendum.
PROCEDURE IN LOCAL INITIATIVE – Sec. 122,
[The Comelec or its designated representative shall extend
assistance in the formulation of the initiative proposition]:
(a) Not less than 1,000 registered voters in case of provinces
and cities; 100 in case of municipalities, and 50 in case of
barangays, may file a petition with the Sanggunian
concerned proposing the adoption, enactment, repeal, or
amendment of an ordinance.
(b) If no favorable action thereon is taken by the sanggunian
concerned within 30 days from its presentation, the proponents,
through their duly authorized and registered representatives,
may invoke their power of initiative, giving notice thereof to the
(c) The proposition shall be numbered serially starting from
Roman numeral I.
MORE REQUIREMENTS FOR INITIATIVE:
(e) Proponents shall have 90 days in case of provinces and cities; 60 days in case
of municipalities, and 30 days in case of barangays, from notice mentioned in
subsection (b) hereof to collect the required number of signatures.
(f) The petition shall be signed before the election registrar, or his designated
representatives, in the presence of a representative of the proponent and a
representative of the Sanggunian concerned in a public place in the LGU, as the
case may be. Stations for collecting signatures may be established in as many
places as may be warranted.
(g) Upon the lapse of the period herein provided, the Comelec, through its office in
the LGU concerned, shall certify as to whether or not the required number of
signatures has been obtained. Failure to obtain the required number defeats the
(h) If the required number of signatures is obtained, the Comelec shall then set a
date for the initiative during which the proposition shall be submitted to the
registered voters in the LGU concerned for their approval within 60 days from the
date of certification by the Comelec, as provided in subsection (g) hereof, in case
of provinces and cities; 45 days in case of municipalities, and 30 days in case of
Section 123, LG Code: Effectivity of Local Propositions.
If approved by a majority of the votes cast, it shall take effect 15 days after
certification by the Comelec as if affirmative action thereon had been made by
the Sanggunian and local chief executive concerned.
If it fails to obtain said number of votes, the proposition
is considered defeated.
Section 124, LG Code: Limitations on Local Initiatives.
(a) The power of local initiative shall not be exercised
once a year.
(b) Initiative shall extend only to subjects or matters which are within the legal
powers of the Sanggunians to enact.
(c) If at any time before the initiative is held, the Sanggunian concerned adopts
in toto the proposition presented and the local chief executive approves the
same, the initiative shall be cancelled.
However, those against such action may, if they so desire, apply for initiative in
the manner herein provided.
Section 125, LG Code: Limitations upon
Any proposition or ordinance approved through
initiative and referendum shall not be repealed,
modified or amended by the Sanggunian
concerned within 6 months from the date of the
approval thereof, and may be amended, modified
or repealed by the Sanggunian within 3 years
thereafter by a vote of 3/4 of all its members:
Provided, That in case of barangays, the period
shall be 18 months after the approval thereof.Section 126, LG Code: Local Referendum Defined. Local referendum is
the legal process whereby the registered voters of LGUs may approve,
amend or reject any ordinance enacted by their Sanggunian.
The local referendum shall be held under the control and direction of the
Comelec within 60 days in case of provinces and cities; 45 days in case
of municipalities, and 30 days in case of barangays.
The Comelec shall certify and proclaim the results of the said
REFERENDUM UNDER R.A. 6735
THE POWER OF THE ELECTORATE TO APPROVE OR
REJECT A LEGISLATION THROUGH AN ELECTION
CALLED FOR THAT PURPOSE.
IT MAY BE OF TWO CLASSES:
1. REFERENDUM ON STATUTES PASSED BY
2. REFERENDUM ON LOCAL ORDINANCES OR
RESOLUTIONS ENACTED BY REGIONAL OR
LOCAL LEGISLATIVE BODIES
LOCAL LEGISLATVE BODIES
MAY SUBMIT THEIR ORDINANCES
OR RESOLUTIONS TO REFERENDUM
UNDER COMELEC SUPERVISION:
I. WITHIN 60 DAYS FROM APPROVAL OF
PROVINCES AND CITIES;
II. WITHIN 45 DAYS FROM APPROVAL OF
III. WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM APPROVAL OF
BY WHOM EXERCISED:
By the Registered Voters of an LGU to which the local
elective official subject of the Recall belongs.
WHO ARE SUBJECT TO RECALL
[NOTE: R.A. 9244 eliminates the Preparatory Recall Assembly]
ANY ELECTIVE LGU OFFICIAL
PROCESS OF RECALL
1. Initiated by any registered voter in the LGU
2. Supported by registered voters concerned in the
(a) At least, 25% of voting population of not more than
20,000.FORMAL REQUIREMENTS FOR RECALL PETITIONS
1. WRITTEN PETITION
2. SIGNED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
PETITIONERS BEFORE THE ELECTION
REGISTRAR OR HIS REPRESENTATIVE IN THE
COMELEC OFFICE IN THE LGU CONCERNED
CONTENTS OF RECALL PETITION
1. Names and Addresses of Petitioners written
and signed in legible manner;
2. The LGU to which they belong;
3. The name of the official sought to be
4. A brief recitation of the reasons for the
COMELEC DUTIES IN RECALL PETITIONS
1. Within 15 days from filing of Petition, certify to the sufficiency of the
number of signatures of Petitioners.
2. Within 3 days from issuance of certification,
(a) provide official concerned with copy of petition;
(b) Cause publication of the petition in national newspaper of
general circulation, and a newspaper of general circulation in the locality
concerned once a week for three consecutive weeks, at the expense of the
(c) post copies of the petition in conspicuous amd public places in the
locality concerned for a period of not less 10 days or more than 20 days.
UPON ISSUANCE OF THE CERTIFICATION:
3. Verify and authenticate the signatures of the petitioners;
4. Notify the representatives of the petitioners and the official sought to be
recalled. They shall have the right to participate in the verification of the
CHALLENGES contesting the authenticity of the signatures shall be decided
WHEN RECALL ELECTIONS SET
After the lapse of 15 days when the challenges contesting the
authenticity of the signatures (and the required number of petitioners)
shall have been disposed of, the Comelec or its duly authorized
representative shall announce that candidates for the position,
including the official sought to be recalled, are now being accepted.
The Recall Elections of the barangay, municipal or city official
concerned shall be held by order of the Comelec or its duly authorized
representative within 30 days after the procedure described above
shall have been done.
The Recall Elections of the provincial official concerned shall be held
within 45 days after the procedure stated earlier shall have been
PEOPLE OUT OF GOVERNEMNT ALSO PARTAKE
OF LEGISLATIVE POWER WHEN THEY VOTE IN
Briefly, plebiscite is the electoral process by
which a proposal to amend or revise the
Constitution is submitted to the people for their
approval or rejection.