Lack of councilors stops council meet

THE SUPPOSED regular city council session yesterday was called off due to lack of attending legislators.

Only 14 council members showed up yesterday, and it missed just one to meet the required number to proceed with the meeting.

After 35 minutes of waiting for their colleagues to show up, the councilors decided to adjourn the session that supposed to start at 10 a.m.

The City Council is composed of 26 councilors and Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte who is presiding the session. For the session to start, it needs the presence of one-half of the body plus one of the 26 councilors — 14 city councilors if the vice mayor is present or 15 city councilors if the vice mayor is not around.

Duterte failed to show up and was listed as absent. Second-in-command Majority Floor Leader Bernard Al-ag was also not present and was listed on domestic emergency leave.

With this, Councilor Bonifacio Military acted as president pro tempore.

But since there were only 13 councilors on the floor, the session was declared lack of quorum.

The other councilors who showed up yesterday were

Nilo Abellera, Jr., Conrado Baluran, Cherry Bonguyan, Pilar Braga, April Dayap, Edgar Ibuyan Jr., Leah Librado, Diosdado Mahipus, Avegayle Dalodo-Ortiz, Antoinette Principe-Castrodes, Jesus Melchor Quitain, Jr., Mary Joselle Villafuerte, and Jesus Joseph Zozobrado.

Councilor Maria Belen Acosta was on vacation leave, while Councilor Marissa Abella was on sick leave.

Councilor Joanne Bonguyan-Quilos is on maternity leave.

Aside from Al-ag, Councilor Victorio Advincula, Jr was also listed on domestic emergency leave.

Non-attending councilors Al Ryan Alejandre, Dante Apostol, Danilo Dayanghirang, January Duterte, Jimmy Dureza, and Halila Sudagar were said to be on official business.

Rene Elias Lopez was the other councilor listed as absence.

The Council may call for a special session to fill up the cancelled session either upon the calls of the City Mayor or by a majority of the members. However, the law also states that no session may be held if there is no quorum on the plenary.

Republic Act 7160 (Local Government Code) requires that the Sangguniang Panlungsod of each city to hold a regular session at least once a week.

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