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New ordinance does not require permit, only information, Leyte BMs say

By Provincial Media Relations Center
July 8, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan reiterated their defense on the approved Ordinance No. 2011-02 that culls out guidelines in the conduct of outreach activities, research, economic development program, leisure activities and fact-finding missions in the countryside of the Leyte province.  (read Leyte guv supports ordinance to oversee conduct of countryside outreach programs, research missions, other activities)

Above all, the legislation’s author, Board Member Rolando Piamonte said, the ordinance does not in any way prohibit individuals or groups from conducting any kind of outreach activities but rather provides that the group or individual “inform” the local government unit of the village or barangay they are going to visit.

The board members also clarified the ordinance, which has received various comments and opposition after its approval, said that it does not in any way require a permit but just a communication informing of their activities.

“Permit would mean the LGU may or may not allow such an activity. That is not what the ordinance provides,” Board Member Piamonte said.

Meanwhile, Board Member Anlie Apostol said, she was among those who approved the ordinance on account of its rationale, foremost of which is the safety of the group or individual who may conduct activities or visit areas of conflict within the province.

“It’s for their own safety. Should they inform the concerned LGUs, security can be provided for them if they want,” Board Member Apostol clarified.

The board members further clarified the ordinance was crafted to avoid similar incidents such as the alleged encounter between the members of the Philippine Army and famous botanist Dr. Leonardo Co and his team last year in the mountains of Kananga, Leyte placed a dent in the province’s efforts in packaging Leyte as an economic hub and prime tourism destination.

Ordinance No. 2011-02, approved last May, provides that “any individual, agency or organization or sponsor planning to conduct outreach activities through community services, research, economic development program, leisure activities and fact-finding missions within the territorial jurisdiction of the Province of Leyte, shall inform in writing the Office of the Mayor of the forthcoming activity at least 15 days before the effectivity thereof.”

The ordinance likewise provides for the submission of mandatory information that include among others, the sponsoring agency or organization, the names and number of participants with their addresses and contact numbers, the specific location or venue of the activity, the rationale of the activity, and the duration of the mission or outreach activity.