LC, ACTS Witness City Council Session
Article by Myara Poliarco
The Leaders’ Council officers and A.C.T.S. Debate Club members had the privilege of observing a City Council Session last November 28 courtesy of Hon. Vice Mayor Janella Estrada.
They were accompanied by the school principal, Mr. Andrew Tan and A.C.T.S. adviser, Ms. Leah Llarena to the new San Juan City Hall where weekly sessions of the City Council were held.
Mr. Andrew Tan explained that the activity was an “immersion” for the students. He elaborated that it would be beneficial for the students to see the progress of policy-making, proper hearing decorum, and what out local government leaders do.
During the session, the students were able to observe how ordinances and draft resolutions were passed, amended, and discussed. For each ordinance and resolution, there had been several additions and deletions of words and phrases, minor adjustments on wordings, and revisions of sections and paragraphs.
Councilor Jose Villa of District II later told the students that these amendments were done to ensure that the documents would not be misinterpreted and questioned. “Vital ang wordings pag nagdradraft ng ordinance,” he said.
Some of the ordinances passed for second reading were regarding mandatory drug test clearances for tricycle drivers and operators, an economic welfare grant for qualified San Juan government officials, implementation of drug-free workplaces, budget allocation of barangays for anti-drug programs, and special construction clearances for multi-storey commercial buildings.
Before the sessions started, the students were informed that in an effort to help preserve the environment, the City Council now holds “paperless sessions” which means all attachements and readings are distributed to the city councilors virtually.
Deborah Magpantay, LC’s Auditor, shared her thoughts on the experience. “Natutuwa akong makita na lahat ng councilors ay nagtutulungan para sa ikinabubuty ng city natin. Tapos I saw how ordinances were being discussed, and na-realize ko na ‘di madali yung process sa pagtatag nung mga ordinances.”
After the adjournment, the students were granted a photo opportunity with Vice Mayor Estrada and the city councilors. They shook hands with the students and thanked them for coming to watch the session.
Mr. Tan has also said that he eyes bringing the students to more hearings and sessions such as these to raise TFCA awareness on public affairs and governance.
*** Myara Poliarco is a Grade 11 student, and the Editor-in-chief of The Berean