Not willing to skip a session, the Tagbilaran City Council will continue to work and decide on pressing matters via teleconference on Friday amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat which has placed almost all of the city’s councilmen under home quarantine.
The council’s presiding officer Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso said that they could not afford to miss a session even while 11 of its 12 members are on quarantine due to their recent travel to Metro Manila where they attended a convention of the Philippine Councilors’ League (PCL).
Governor Arthur Yap directed all Bohol councilors who were present during the PCL junket to undergo self-quarantine as the event was also attended by “Patient 39,” a Negros Oriental councilor who died of COVID-19 last Sunday.
According to Veloso, all Tagbilaran councilors joined the convention except for Councilor Philip Besas.
“We’re just following orders pud ni Governor Art Yap na mag quarantine,” he said. “Nangutana ta sa atong City Health ug sa DOH kung pwede ba ta mag-session even if we observe social distancing sa atong session but unfortunately wa g’yud ta gi-allow ana nila.”
The council will discuss and decide on various matters including the approval of a supplemental budget for health expenses and gratuity pay for the city’s job-order employees and the deadline extension for the renewal of tricycle operators’ permits.
“Naay mga urgent concerns na kinahanglan nato aprobahan sa Sanggunian…mao na we took initiative through the IT of our office na mag teleconference nalang,” he said.
The council also coordinated with the local Department of Interior and Local Government office which gave the legislative body a go-signal to proceed with the online session just as long as the same procedures are observed such as the taking down of minutes.
The councilors and the vice mayor had “dry runs” for the online session starting Wednesday and they are now ready for the session on Friday.
Veloso said that he and Besas will be at the council’s session hall while the rest of the legislators will be at their homes during the regular session.
It will be the first time that the city’s legislative body will hold a session via teleconference.
In some municipalities across the province, sessions were adjourned for the lack of quorum as dozens of legislators province-wide remained under quarantine. (Allen Doydora)