By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY - Does this city yields to the provincial government of Pangasinan incase the latter declared a state of calamity (SOC)?
This city's legal officer sees otherwise.
Former Municipal Trial Court Judge George Mejia said that as an independent component city, this local government unit (LGU) does not follow the declaration of the governor of the SOC vis-à-vis the suspension of classes and work in Pangasinan where this city's belong.
“These are three kinds of a city. Component city where the ordinances and resolutions of the Sanggunian Panlungsod (city council) undergo review from the Sanggunian Panlalawigan (provincial board); Independent component city like Dagupan where voters do not vote to the elective provincial officials like the members of the provincial board, vice governor and governor; and Highly urbanized cities that are located in Metro Manila,” he stressed.
Mejia was with this city’s Mayor Belen T. Fernandez in a press conference called recently by the latter at the Stadia in Barangay Lucao here.
When asked what was the stance of this city incase calamities like flood are all over the towns and cities in the province, Fernandez cited a case that this city can still hold in abeyance the declaration of the SOC even if the neighboring towns of Mangaldan, Calasiao, and Binmaley have already been flooded.
“ As long as Dagupan City is not flooded we can still hold classes”.
The mayor said it is a different situation incase the office of the president (of the Philippines) declare the state of calamity.
“Every one of us follow suit”.
It can be recalled that the this city former mayor Benjie S. Lim and his officials have been administratively and criminally sued on August 31, 2010 at the Ombudsman when Lim allowed village chiefs to withdraw P13.1 million of their five percent calamity so they could buy relief goods for their constituents. One of the bases of Lim that there was SOC here was when the provincial government under Governor Amado T. Espno declared a state of calamity.