A Provincial Board (PB) member is seeking to urge Congress to amend the Local Government Code (LGC) and raise the maximum amount of monetary penalties that may be imposed through ordinances passed by local legislative bodies.
Republic Act 7160, or the LGC, currently limits the Sangguniang Panglungsod and Sangguinang Panlalawigan to mete out a maximum fine of P5,000 for violation of ordinances, while the Sangguniang Bayan and Sangguniang Barangay are allowed to impose fines not exceeding P2,500 and P1,000, respectively.
According to PB Member Benjie Arcamo, the amounts have become outdated due to their low value and could no longer deter individuals from violating ordinances.
“We understand that the Local Government Code took effect in 1992. I can recall at that time the tricycle fare was at P1.50 or P2 now how much is the fare, P20. And our power to impose fine as penalties still has not changed,” said Arcamo.
During the PB’s regular session on Tuesday, Arcamo proposed an ordinance urging all sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, sangguniang bayan and sangguniang barangay in the country to pass a resolution appealing to Congress to amend the LGC.
Arcamo’s proposed measure seeks Congress’ amendment of Sections 468 (Sangguniang Panlalawigan), 457 (Sangguniang Panlungsod), 447 (Sangguniang Bayan) and 391 (Sangguniang Barangay) of the decades-old LGC.
The solon wants the maximum fines to be raised to P50,000 for the provincial and city levels from P5,000; P25,000 from P2,500 for the municipality level, and P10,000 for the barangay level.
According to Arcamo, the current maximum penalties have rendered the ordinance passed by local legislative bodies as “irrelevant and toothless.”
“The maximum amount that we can impose as a fine to erring Boholanos or constituents is very small,” he said.
The first-term lawmaker cited ordinances intended to prevent or prohibit acts that would costs damages worth more than the maximum fines allowed by the LGC.
“For instance, the proposed ordinance imposing penalties against overloaded vehicles passing through bridges. Violators can cause damage costing millions of pesos but the penalty is only P5,000 at most,” he said.
“In Panglao, violating barangay ordinances on protecting fish sanctuaries can only result to penalty of P1,000 maximum. But how much is the cost of the fish they gathered? P5,000 or P3,000. That’s way more than the maximum fine,” he added. (AD)