For the past 62 years (1948-2010), numerous ordinances have been enacted by the honorable members of the past and present Sangguniang Panlungsod of General Santos City to govern the more than 500,000 Generals. However, as time goes by, most of these ordinances have become obsolete, unmodified and unsystematic. Others are duplicative and conflicting with one another. And most of these ordinances remain inaccessible to the public even with the current computer technologies.
As a response to the needs of times, the 16th Sangguniang Panlungsod headed by the City Vice Mayor Shirlyn L. Bañas-Nograles together with our City Councilors: Hon. Ronnel C. Rivera, Hon. Elizabeth B. Bagonoc, Hon. Vivencio E. Dinopol, Hon. Richard L. Atendido, Hon. Nepthalie P. Natividad, Hon. Eduardo D. Leyson IV, Hon. Dante S. Vicente, Hon. Viriginia T. Llido, Hon. Dominador S. Lagare III, Hon. Marius Orlando A. Oco, Hon. Margareth Rose N. Santos, Hon. Remus P. De Claro, Hon. Lourdes F. Casabuena, and Hon. Mac Alejandre M. Tablazon, our Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretary Atty. Rosendo A. Roque, City Legal Officer Atty. Ruperto A. Besinga,and Atty. Marites Taniegra from the City Legal embarked a Codification of Ordinances Project. The City Vice Mayor issued a memorandum forming a technical working group (TWG) to undertake the said project. Local Legislative Staff Officer, Mr. George C. Tapel, and Ms. Ma. Lovella Morales-Gindap,were tapped to lead the project using their expertise on the said matter.
The First Phase of the project started on November 15, 2010 with zero budget, our records division staff Mr. Michael A. Saulon, two job order personnel namely Ms. Regina C. Datulayta and Ms. Hannah Co-Ladot, and about 22 on the job training student-volunteers coming from ACA SARGEN Foundation Inc., Holy Trinity College and Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges, joined the team and worked hand in hand for the realization of the said project.
This phase involves the following major activities: compilation and inventory of ordinances, listing, classification, coding, and encoding into electronic copies. Even with budget constraints and limited personnel, the first phase was completed last May 2011 with the help and cooperation of the different divisions and staff of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
With the draft ready, the project was presented to the August Body and passed the 1st Reading in the plenary of the 47th Regular Session of the 16th Sangguniang Panlungsod on June 14, 2011.
Now on its Second Phase, the project’s draft of codified ordinances was the subject of the en banc committee hearing for 37 sessions held every Tuesdays at 1:00 0’clock in the afternoon, and Wednesdays, 9:00 o’clock in the morning, that started last June 30, 2011. With these hearings, the draft of the codified ordinances were discussed and deliberated further to finally come up with the most suitable version.
Since the en banc hearing started last June 30, 2011, there were several topics that were lengthily discussed and deliberated, Chapters and Ordinances being amended and repealed.
As an offshoot for the Codification Project, the team had its benchmarking activity last October 6 and 7, 2011 in Sto. Tomas Davao del Norte, where the leadership of Mayor Maximo M. Estela, championed the Ecological Solid Waste Management Program and in Tagum City in relation to the topic on Economic Enterprise where the good Mayor Rey T. Uy has been able to impose reforms on traditional practices and policies to improve over-all performance making the economic enterprise more profitable yet effective in responding to the needs of the people and efficient in the delivery of services.
October 17, 2011, a consultation and actual inspection on the exact location of protected marine sanctuaries was conducted in Barangay Bawing to support the ordinance on Fisheries.
There are more chapters to be discussed and we commend the support of our city councilors and the active participation of everyone as the endeavor is a significant milestone in the City's legislative enactment across the decades.
Hopefully, when the aforementioned draft passes the 3rd and Final Reading in the plenary session, then, the City of General Santos will come to behold, for the very first time ever, a duly enacted General Santos City Code of Ordinances. With its enactment into local law, this significant milestone of legislation will become the 16th Sangguniang Panlungsod’s main legacy to the city’s history and development. (/mtc)