By Elmer James Bandol
DARAGA, Albay (BicolToday.com/10-Sept-2012) – Congestion of the traffic and the presence of transient vendors occupying the half lane of T. Perez Street in this premier town since Aug. 30, 2012, was denounced Tuesday (today) by Councilor Joseph M. Espinas as he condemned the alleged issuance of an Executive Order that allows business to operate without Sangguniang Bayan ordinance.
“I express my strongest condemnation for this act”, Espinas emphasized in his privilege speech during the 34th regular session of the Sanguning Bayan of Daraga. He said he heard the radio interview with Mayor Gerry R. Jaucian alleging that an Executive Order was in effect allowing vendors to occupy the half lane of the street.
In an interview by this writer, Espinas said he did not see any written order from Mayor Jaucian that T. Perez Street shall be temporarily closed within the period for the celebration of the town fiesta. “Except for an unsigned Municipal Ordinance No. 07-2012 stating the temporary closure of T. Perez, corner Regidor to corner P. Burgos, corner Rizal to P. Burgos streets corner M. H. Del Pilar from Aug. 20 to Sept. 15, 2012 providing space for business stalls. Personnel from the licensing division also revealed that they have not seen a written order from the mayor.
Espinas quoted Republic Act 7160 under Section 21.c that any national road, alley, park or square may be temporarily closed during fiestas where the duration of which shall be specified by the local chief executive in a written order, however, activities not officially sponsored, recognized or approved by the local government unit concerned.
He explained that any city, municipality or barangay may, by duly enacted ordinance, temporary close and regulate the use of local streets where goods, merchandise or articles for commerce may be sold and dispense to the public.
Feeling that the Sanggunian as a collegial body was belittled by Jaucian, Espinas has challenged the presiding officer, Vice-Mayor Carlito M. Baylon, to make a stand on the present situation that the people of Daraga are blinded as to how much income will be derived from the business operations which he believed were sacrificed for the “wanton desires of the few”
On the other hand, Baylon who heads the Sangunian for so many years, has refused to be interviewed and showed complacent attitude about the situation when challenged by Espinas that they should all resign as the local council becomes irrelevant and no longer worthy of the people’s trust.
Baylon, who is a lawyer by profession, could hardly give his stand regarding the letter of Jaucian to Espinas, who heads the oversight committee, that a day before the “privilege speech” by the councilor on the floor, copy of said speech should be furnished to the Office of the Mayor. [BicolToday.com]
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