I have the chance to witness a Sanggunian Panlalawigan(SP) Session last January 30, 2008. It was the first Sanggunian Session I have ever witnessed. The presiding officer of the session was the Vice Governor of the province, Atty. Eliordo Ogena. At first I thought that the governor was not around for some reason that’s why the vice governor acted as the presiding officer for the mean time. But I have learned from a 4th year polsci student, who was also there, that in all the session of the Sanggunians, it is always the vice who acts as the presiding officer(except for the Sangguniang Barangay where there is no Vice Brgy. Capt.). And also I have learned from my father(and through consulting the Local Gov’t. Code) that the Vice Gov. or Vice Mayor cannot deliberate discussions and debates with the sanggunian member(during session), just facilitates the session and act as the tie breaker during votations.
The components of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan are the Board Members, the President of the Provincial Councilors’ League(PCL) President, Representative of the Barangays in the SP(ABC President), and the representative of the SK in the SP(SK Federation President of the Province). Beside the presiding officer was a woman, whom I think the head secretary/stenographer because she was taking notes of all the things that were being discussed during the session. Beside the room were bunch of other secretaries who were also taking notes. There was an area at the back where visitors and those people who wanted to witness the session sit.
The topics of there(SP) discussion were the ordinances enacted by the municipalities and city. I was not really able to hear all their deliberations and arguments because I was sitting at the back and the people in front were talking while the SP were also talking. All that I had noticed was that it’s not really that necessary for all the members of the sanggunian to speak up and draw their arguments. Some are just listening and nodding. Only few gave their opinions and comments. After discussing a certain topic where no one argues or contradicts they would proceed to another discussion.
After the session, I realized that it’s not easy to be a sanggunian member(a politician). You have to be professional enough not to loose your temper during discussions. As a legislator you have to be aware on what is happening in your community so that you can make ordnances that will promote the general welfare of the people. You also have to be a good public servant because politics is a game for keeps. All the things you've done and doing as a public servant will reflect to your name and to your family as well. And it has long time effect, it will past thru history.
Over all, witnessing a Sanggunian is such an opportunity. We were able to have an overview on how a sanggunian session is being held. I just hope that our provincial officials here in South Cotabato will be responsible enough and do their duties to serve their constituents well until they end their office.
Actually, I thought of posting this before… hehehe… nalimutan ko lang i-post. I just remember posting it when I open my USB and saw it.