Municipal councilors of Panglao have called for the withdrawal of a gag order which has barred municipal employees from attending sessions, conferences and other functions without a written authority from the Mayor’s Office.
According to Councilor Dennis Hora, they passed a resolution urging Mayor Edgardo Arcay to rescind Memorandum Order (MO) 003, which required “all personnel under the executive department” to secure a written authority from the chief executive’s office at least seven days before attending any “session, meeting and conference” conducted or convened by any office or agency.
The order took effect immediately after its issuance on January 26, 2023.
“Nagtuo ang atong mayor na kanang mga empleyado sa lungsod siya ray naay gahom. Nakalimtan niya na kaming mga magbabalaod naa usab miy gahom na mo patawag nila alang sa pagsuta sa mga detalyi sa amoang mga gipanghimo na mga balaudnon,” said Hora.
Hora said Arcay was “ill-advised” for issuing the order without citing any legal basis which authorized him to impose the restriction.
The chief executive also did not explain why the order was issued.
“Mao among gikatingad-an kay ang iyang memorandum circular igo lang ga diktar. Walay gi butang unsay rason unya walay puy basis or unsay gisandigan niya na balaod ba kaha or ordinansa ba,” said Hora.
The Chronicle has reached out to Arcay for his comment through call but he has not answered.
Meanwhile, Hora also took notice of the memorandum’s “vagueness” particularly on the penalty for violating the new policy.
In the memorandum, Arcay warned that those who will violate the order will be “dealt with accordingly.”
“Unsa may pasabot ani? Iyang presohon or iya bang taktakon. It is very vague. Sa law, kaning mga ngani na klaseng circulars or bisa’g ordinances na vague or way klaro are frowned upon. Dili gyud ni maayo kay wa may parameters,” said Hora.
Councilor JR Rodriguez, an known ally of Arcay, said the policy is counterproductive and will cause a slowdown in the Sangguniang Bayan’s execution of its functions.
“This is going to make our work more difficult. We have to set meetings and if possible it should be within 24 hours. But now, we have to wait seven days if we strictly follow that memorandum,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez noted that after complaints against the order were raised, the mayor’s office agreed to cut short seven-day requirement.
This further prompted councilors to question the new policy.
“When we were noisy about it, sabi nila na may exception naman daw. Hindi kailangan seven days, pwede naman e-rush. So if that’s the case, why even have that memorandum in place if you are going to break it yourself,” he added. (A. Doydora)