Politicians want term limits for local officials changed

MAYORS, governors, and congressmen may gain a year in their terms if a proposal to amend the Local Government Code in both Houses of Congress and Charter change gains traction.

Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny "Bambi" Emano said he was one of the 20 governors who were invited to discuss possible amendments of the Local Government Code in a meeting last week initiated by the Senate Committee on Local Government.

The meeting and workshop, supported by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), proposed a limit of two five-year terms for elected mayors, governors and congressmen.

At present, local officials are limited to serve three consecutive terms of three years each or a maximum of nine years.

"Gi-propose nato nga buhaton siya nga 2 terms pero five years kada term so 10 years tanan,"Emano said.

But, Emano said, there must be a condition that the elected official will submit himself for reelection even in the middle of his term when he failed to perform his duties and responsibilities.

Emano said this is to ensure that others bidding for the position will be given an opportunity to prove their intentions to serve the constituents.

"Naay colatilla nga in the middle of the term subject siya sa recall. Of course, naay formula ana para maka-conduct sa reelection para at least naay safety nets nga kung dili kaayo mag-perform ang elected official," Emano said.

"Makadagan gihapon siya for reelection pero open na siya for others nga magpapili pud. Kung naay modaog bag-o iyang tiwason ang remaining years sa maong term," Emano added.

The Capitol's top official said there is already a "clamor" to change the term limits to encourage continuity of programs and projects.

But Emano is aware that in order to achieve this, the Local Government Code and even the Philippine Constitution have to be amended.

"Naay saying nga 'If it ain't broke dont fix it', Ang problema sa present nga three terms nga tag-tulo ka tuig kay bisan maayo ang mga programa ug proyekto dili mapadayon kung naay bag-ong mapili. Maputol-putol ang mga maayong services,"Emano said.

Emano said it would be a series of discussions called by the said senate committee which is aimed to ready the proposed amendments of the local government code should the Duterte administration failed to impose the federal form of government in the country.

"During sa meeting, naay proposed amendments pud si former senate president Pimentel unya sa third column ang among proposal dayon nga gibuhat sa workshop. Naay nag-match uban pero understandable nga lain-lain ang mga pamaagi sa LGU and the way the National Government would like to make it work," Emano said.