Complaint vs erring elective local officials to be handled by SP

ADMINISTRATIVE complaints against erring local elective officials will soon be handled by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, instead of the Office of the President.

House Bill 6697, authored by Rep. George Arnaiz (2nd District, Negros Oriental), seeks to amend Section 61 of Republic Act 7160 as amended, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.

Under the bill, a complaint against any elective official of a province, a highly urbanized city, or an independent component city or component city shall be filed before the Office of the President.

Arnaiz said there are certain powers which should have been devolved to LGUs but are still retained by the national government like the jurisdiction over the filing of administrative complaints against erring local elective officials.

Arnaiz added that a component city is within the administrative and disciplinary jurisdiction of the province where it is geographically located.

Arnaiz said Section 63 of the Local Government Code empowers the governor to impose preventive suspension if the respondent is an elective official of a component city or municipality.

“But Section 61 of the Code provides a contradictory instance as it requires the filing of administrative complaints against erring elective officials of component cities before the Office of the President,” Arnaiz explained.

Furthermore, a complaint against any elective official of a municipality or component city shall be filed before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan whose decision may be appealed to the Office of the President.

Under the bill, a complaint against elective barangay official shall be filed before the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan concerned whose decision shall be final and executory.

RA 7160 explicitly devolves the powers and responsibilities to local government units (LGU) in pursuance with the decentralization policy enshrined in the Constitution.

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