PA Dumlao, PLO Garcia assuage AC2023
The members of the Ad Hoc Committee on the 2023 Annual Budget Authorization (AC2023) of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Nueva Vizcaya (SPNV) headed by Board Member Patricio F. Dumlao, Jr. tackled some of their pressing concerns during their deliberation of the proposed budgets of the offices of Provincial Administrator Maybelle Dumlao-Sevillena and Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Voltaire B. Garcia on November 5, 2022 in Baguio City.
In response to the suggestion of the AC2023 members to expand further the reach of information pertaining to the programs, projects, and activities of the Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya (PGNV), PA Sevillena mentioned an initiative made some years back enjoining the different PGNV Offices to establish their respective SocMed accounts, with the concomitant designation of Information Officers for the said purpose.
She informed the August body that her office, at the outset, had provided formats of SocMed account names, email addresses, and profile images for uniformity.
She also said that she will check on the status of this information dissemination endeavor of the PGNV, and do the necessary adjustments to help address the observations and recommendations of the AC2023 members, which include the need for sharing news and feature articles with other online channels, such as the broader Website and SocMed accounts being jointly managed by her office and the Public Affairs and Information Assistance Division (PAIAD).
In regard to the use of service vehicles and fuel consumption, PA Sevillena said that her office will also look into the harmonization of Administrative Order No. 02-s2013 and recent executive issuances, taking into consideration, as usual, the need to maximize all the benefits that can be derived from available resources, while, at the same time, enabling both the executive and legislative branches of the PGNV to perform well their respective mandates for the province and its people.
The Board Members also delved into the technical services of the Provincial Legal Office (PLO) headed by Atty. Garcia in aid of the province’s local governments and constituents. They stressed the important role of the PLO, particularly on the legislative measures that they are crafting, and the contentious issues that they are dealing with, such as territorial disputes.
Atty. Garcia said that pursuant to the mandate of their office, they indeed extend legal assistance to the different PGNV offices, including the SPNV, the governments of the province’s component LGUs (i.e., 15 municipalities and 275 barangays), and constituents, especially indigent litigants.
He said that it has been the practice among their focal persons, as a matter of office policy, to attend SPNV sessions for them to have a better appreciation of the issues and concerns surrounding legislative measures for which the PLO’s assistance is sought.
Given its limited workforce vis-a-vis the large number of clientele that it is catering to, the PLO also derives some reinforcement from the Legal Aid Committee of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). Incidentally, Atty. Garcia is the incumbent President of the IBP-Nueva Vizcaya Chapter.
As to territorial disputes, the PLO’s advice is in keeping with the promotion of lasting peace, amity, and cooperation among LGUs, and, along that line, it pushes the adoption of a “defensive stance” approach. Atty. Garcia explained that “At most, the PGNV needs to act correspondingly only when the province’s possessory rights are either challenged or disturbed. But, as a matter of protocol and procedure, any action of the PLO in relation thereto needs to emanate from the concerned lower local government/s.”