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VM: Absent councilors a bad signal for voters

Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag was dismayed by the absence of some city councilors in yesterday’s regular session.
Only 15 members were present in yesterday’s session, prompting the postponement of the discussion of some items in the agenda.
“I am expecting that they will still do their job. Not attending sessions, I think, is a bad signal to voters,” said Al-ag, noting that councilor’s attendance is a reflection of their commitment to the job.
Councilors who attended yesterday’s session were Maria Belen Acosta, Joanne Bonguyan, Ma. Cherry Ann Bonguyan, Pilar Braga, Edgar Ibuyan Jr., Leah Librado-Yap, Rene Elias Lopez, Bonifacio Militar, Avegayle Dalodo-Ortiz, Antoinette Principe-Castrodes, J. Melchor Quitain Jr., Mary Joselle Villafuerte, Jesus Joseph Zozobrado, and youth representative Jaffar Marohomsalic.
With only few months left before the mid-term elections, the vice mayor urges the councilors to continue performing their duties as legislators.
“I am reiterating my request to the members of the City Council that they must not forget their obligations to the public. Our main mandate as a legislator is to attend council session every Tuesday, sadly for today we are only 15,” said Al-ag, who is not running in this year’s elections.
The cancellation of some scheduled items set for discussion, Al-ag said, “is not good to the Council because we are all paid by the taxpayer’s money to attend the session, that’s why, I am urging the members of the council to be present on the next session because we have items that needs ¾ votes or 22 members,” Al-ag added.
Al-ag also expressed his disappointment to councilors who leave in-between sessions.
“This has been happening for a long time that during discussions, some councilors go outside to attend their (other) matters. For the next years’ budget, I am proposing to put up a restroom inside so that there will be no reason for them to go outside,” he said.
The vice mayor pushes stricter implementation to the rules of the council ordering sergeant at arms to monitor the length of time of solons leaving the session hall.
“We will put on record if you are late, or absent and we will no longer allow you to go outside unnecessarily. We will strictly implement a maximum 10 minutes for them to go out if they have something to attend,” he said.

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