Robredo cites vice mayor’s power to approve travels PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 15:41

Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo yesterday categoratically stated over a radio interview that the vice mayor of a given city or municipality can assert his power as the chief of the legislative branch in granting authority to travel to any of the councilor subject, however, to the availability of fund.

This practice will clearly show that the legislative branch is independent in nature and is in equal footing with the executive branch, Robredo explained.

Robredo’s opinion was sought during the interview after Mayor Celso Lobregat reportedly denied Councilor Rodolfo Bayot’s request to travel last month.

During the Council’s regular session last week, Bayot expressed disgust over Lobregat’s action on his request.

According to Bayot, Lobregat denied his request to travel after he (Bayot) did not support the passage of the Supplemental Budget last year.

A reliable source informed DZT that Lobregat will again deny the travel permit of all councilors belonging to the opposition who are going to attend the National Convention of the Philippine Councilor’s League (PCL) next week in spite of a council resolution granting a councilor from the majority bloc, Rudy Lim, the authority to make a strong representation with the office of the mayor to allow councilors from the minority to attend the said event.

Robredo said the decision of each and every councilor must be respected and should not be used as basis for denying something what is due them.

In the event the chief city executive will disapprove the travel authority of the councilors despite the availability of fund, Robredo said, “the vice mayor should take care of it.”

In a separate interview, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde explained that it has been the practice in the local government that the power in granting authority to travel to any public official, particularly to councilors, lies on the chief executive.

However, this kind of a practice should already be corrected so as to show that the Sangguniang Panlungsod is exercising its power separate from that of the chief executive.

“It is not only in Zamboanga City that officials use this practice. There are still a lot more. But we have to correct things and work together in achieving our goal towards standardization,” Robredo pointed out. — Jimmy Villaflores