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CHAPTER 3

Roadblocks Ahead: 1995-1998


With the approval of SB Resolution No. 124-s-95 in
1995 the initial obstacle was successfully cleared. It
paved the way for the presentation of the cityhood
proposal in the Philippine Congress; first in the House
of the Representatives and subsequently in the
Philippine Senate. This next level presented an
altogether new set of obstacles which the proponents
needed to hurdle. For one thing, the Congressmen
and Senators who would deliberate on the proposal
were national figures and would, therefore, make
decisions based on national realities. In addition,
both houses would carry out the process with a set of
rules different from that of the Sangguniang Bayan.1
According to these rules, the consideration for the
cityhood of Dasmarias must first be taken up in the
House of Representatives where it is filed as a house
bill and go through the process of how a bill becomes
a law. First, proponents of the proposal from
Dasmarias would have to find a member of the
House of Representatives who would assume
sponsorship of that bill, prepares, and have it drafted
by the Houses Bill Drafting Division of the Reference
and Research Bureau. The bills sponsor would have
to shepherd the bill to its First Reading where the
Secretary General reads the title and number of the
bill. The Speaker of the House of Representatives
then refers the bill to the appropriate House
Committee.
The Committee to where the bill was referred to
evaluates it in order to determine the necessity of
conducting public hearings. If a public hearing is
necessary, the Committee schedules one, issues
pg. 1

public notices and invites resource persons from the


public and private sectors, the academe and experts
on the proposed legislation. If none was needed the
bill is scheduled for Committee discussions. Based on
the result of the public hearings or discussions, the
Committee may introduce amendments, consolidate
bills on the same subject matter, or propose a
substitute bill then prepares the corresponding
committee report.
The bill is then scheduled for consideration on
Second Reading where the Secretary General again
reads the number, title and text of the bill. It would
be followed by a period of sponsorship and debate
and the period of amendments. At this stage bills
merits and demerits are debated in the open session
of the House of Representatives. As soon as the
period of sponsorship and debates and of
amendments is closed, the House is divided either
through a viva voce or through nominal voting.
Once the bill is approved, it is then engrossed and
included in the Calendar of Bills for Third Reading.
Three days before the Third Reading, copies of the
same bill are distributed to all the Members of the
House. On Third Reading, the Secretary General
again, reads only the number and title of the bill.
What follows is a roll call or nominal voting during
which each Member of the House of Representatives
is given three minutes to explain his vote.
The bill is then transmitted to the Senate for its
concurrence once it had been approved in the House
of Representatives. Here, the bill undergoes another
round of more or less the same process. If the Senate
approves the bill, it would be signed by the Senate
President and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and certified by both the Secretary
of the Senate and the Secretary General of the House
before it is transmitted to the President of the
pg. 2

Philippine Republic. If the bill is approved by the


President, it is assigned an RA (Republic Act) number
and transmitted to the House where it originated.2
The Tenth Philippine Congress
The very first attempt to legislate the proposal to
convert Dasmarias into a city was taken up by the
Tenth Congress of the Philippines during its 2 nd
Regular Session. Members of the 10 th Congress were
elected during the midterm election in 1995 wherein
one half of the members in the Philippine Senate and
the
entire
membership
of
the
House
of
Representative
were
replaced.
Under
the
administration of President Fidel Valdez Ramos, the
3rd Regular Session of the 10th Congress opened on
July 28, 1997 with Senator Ernesto Maceda as the
Senate President and Congressman Jose de Venecia
of the 4th District of Pangasinan as the Speaker of
the House of Representatives.
Two years after the resolution was transmitted to
him in 1995, Congressman Renato P. Dragon, was
ready to sponsor the Dasmarias cityhood bill in
1997. At that time he was just months away from
finishing his third and last term as the representative
in the House of Representatives of the 2nd District of
Cavite
which
included
the
Municipality
of
Dasmarias. Upon his instructions the Bill Drafting
Division of the Reference and Research Bureau in the
House of Representatives prepared the draft in
accordance with a predetermined format.
The draft contained the obligatory Explanatory
Note which served as the introductory message
which showed that the bill originated from the House
of Representative during its Second Regular Session
and the authors being; the Honorable Congressmen
Renato Dragon, Plaridel M. Abaya, a first termer
representative of the First District, and Telesforo A,
pg. 3

Unas of the Third District who was in his second


term.3
The bill was entitled An Act Converting the
Municipality of Dasmarias into a City to be known as
the City of Dasmarias, and its stated purpose was
to declare Dasmarias as a component city It
explained that converting the municipality into a city
would facilitate its growth and to keep up with the
demands of the locality because of its fast paced
and continuous to growth and development from a
predominantly agricultural community on the
outskirts of Metro Manila into a residential,
commercial, and industrial center of Cavite.
The accompanying supporting documents showed
the 1996 income and population of the municipality
to be P86 million and 262,406 (National Statistics
Office 1995) respectively. The trends for both were in
the upswing as the former was expected to grow to
P120 million and the latter to double in the coming
years.
The Explanatory Note further explained that
cityhood would bring about two important benefits
for the Municipality of Dasmarias. One of these
benefits was the increase in the towns income that
may be expected due to additional Internal Revenue
Allotment (IRA). Second was the greater local
autonomy from the province of Cavite that the town
would enjoy upon acquisition city status. This
development
would
catalyze
growth
and
development not only in Dasmarias but also in the
whole province.
Relevant Provisions of the Bill
The draft bill also contained relevant provisions
which we shall discuss in this portion. The
Declaration of Principles and Policies, (Article 1,
pg. 4

Section 1) served as a guide for city officials and


employees on the manner by which they should
conduct their governmental functions. It contained
the following reminders to city officials, whether
elected or appointed:
1) Public office is a public trust and that all
government officials and employees must at all
times be accountable to the people.
2) As holders of public office, they swore to the
belief of leadership by example and that they
shall abide by the code of conduct and ethical
standards for public servants.
3) They should adhere
transparency in the
transactions.

to the
conduct

policy of
of public

4) The active participation and support of the


people are indispensable to attain success in
all city programs and projects.
5) The prime resource of their authority is the
people and in order to attain their goals and
vision for Dasmarias, they must protect the
welfare of the city officials and employees.
6) They must strictly enforce the laws without
fear or favor.
7) The maintenance of peaceful and orderly
community as well as clean and green
environment should also be faithfully adhered
to for they are essential to growth and
progress.
8) They swore to the prudent management of
public funds and resources.
9) That as public servants, they would at all times
be ready and willing to provide assistance
through
efficient,
honest,
fast,
highly
pg. 5

professional,
above all.

and

innovative

services,

and

10)
They affirm the guidance and help of the
Almighty God without which all these things
will not be possible.
The General Declaration, (Article II) declared
that the Act would be known as the Charter of the
City of Dasmarias (Section 2), and as such, it
converts the municipality into a component city. It
also delineated the boundaries of its territory over
which it would have jurisdiction (Section 3). It
included the present territory of the Municipality of
Dasmarias in the Province of Cavite, bounded by
the municipalities of Gen. Trias, Imus, Bacoor,
General Mariano Alvarez and Silang in Cavite and the
Municipality of San Pedro in Laguna. The same article
vested the city with the following corporate powers
(Section 4):
1) The power to have a continuous succession in
its corporate name.
2) The power to sue and be sued.
3) The power to have and use a corporate seal.
4) The power to acquire and convey real or
personal property.
5) To enter into contracts.
6) The power to exercise other powers as are
granted to corporations, subject to the
limitations provided in the bill and other laws.
The power of the City to levy taxes was enshrined
in Section 5 of the same article. It also vested the
City with the following additional powers; to close
roads, streets, alleys, parks or squares; to take,
purchase, receive, hold, lease, convey, and dispose
pg. 6

of real and personal property for the general interest


of the City; to condemn private property for the
general interest of the City; to condemn private
property for public use; to contract and be
contracted with; to sue and be sued; to prosecute
and defend to final judgment and execution suits
wherein the City is a party; and, to exercise all the
powers as are granted to corporations conferred in
the bill. More importantly, it cautioned the City and
its officials against abuse in the exercise of these
powers for they shall not be exempted from liability
for consequential death or injury to persons or
damage to property.
Elective and Appointive City Officials
According to Article III, officials of City of
Dasmarias may be elected at large by the
registered voters of the City. Other officials may be
appointed by those authorized under this provision.
The City Mayor was one of those who have been
bestowed the authority to appoint city officials.
However, the majority of all the members of the
Sangguniang
Panlungsod
must
concur
with
appointment within fifteen days after appointment,
otherwise these appointments shall be deemed
confirmed.
The city government may also create positions or
offices that it felt were necessary to carry out the
purposes of the City. At the same time it may
consolidate the functions of any office with those of
another in the interest of efficiency and economy. It
may also retain offices, already in existence at the
time of the approval of the charter, but were not
mentioned in Section 8 (a) (b).
The City Mayor
pg. 7

As the chief executive of the city, the City Mayor


per Article IV Section 9 is the head of its government.
The proposed City Charter bestowed on him the
powers that were necessary, appropriate, or
incidental for the efficient and effective governance
of the City and those that were essential for the
promotion of the general welfare.
The City Mayors mandate included the
enforcement of all laws and ordinances relative to
the governance of the City and in the exercise of its
appropriate corporate powers as well as to
implement all approved policies, programs, projects,
services, and activities of the City. He was expected
to initiate and maximize the generation of resources
and revenues, and apply the same to the
implementation of development plans, programs,
objectives, and priorities, particularly those resources
and revenues programmed for agro-industrial
development and countryside growth and progress.
The City Mayor was also tasked to ensure the
delivery of basic services and the provision of
adequate facilities. In addition to all these, he has to
perform other duties and functions and exercise
other powers as provided for under the Local
Government Code of 1991 and those that are
prescribed by law or ordinance.
Qualified voters of the City may elect the City
Mayor at large during the local elections. Aspirants to
the position should be twenty three (23) years of age
at the time of the election and a resident of the city
for at least one year prior to the election. His tenure
would be for three years. He may, however, be
removed from office before the end of that tenure
through a recall election. He shall be paid a minimum
monthly compensation that corresponded to salary
grade thirty (30) as prescribed under Republic Act
No. 6758.4
pg. 8

The City Vice-Mayor


Panlungsod

and

the

Sangguniang

The City Vice-Mayor per Section 10, like the City


Mayor, should likewise be elected to the position
through a popular election. He is a member of the
Sangguniang Panlungsod and acts as its presiding
officer during sessions. As such, he was authorized
by the proposed city charter to sign all warrants
drawn on the city treasurer for all expenditures
appropriated for the operation of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod. He alone was granted the right to
appoint all officials and employees of the
Sanggunian.
As the City Vice-Mayor, he assumes the office of
the City Mayor, exercise its powers and perform the
duties of the latters position in the event of
permanent or temporary vacancy. In case of
permanent vacancy, the City Vice-Mayor shall serve
for the unexpired term of the City Mayor.5
The next set of elective city officials of the city
government per House Bill No. 8931 were the
members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the
lawmaking body of the city. Its composition as
described in Section 11of Article V included the City
Vice-Mayor, who is its presiding officer and the
twelve regular members or the Kagawads. Any
resident of the City of Dasmarias may run for the
position of a Kagawad during local elections held
every three years as long as he or she possessed the
same qualifications as those rung for the position of
the City Mayor and Vice-Mayor.
Aside from the Vice-Mayor and the Kagawads,
three slots in the city council have been reserved for
sectoral representatives who would become part of
the Sangguniang Panlungsod. These sectoral
representatives should come from the womens
pg. 9

group, from the agricultural or industrial workers, and


from the urban poor, indigenous cultural minorities,
or disabled persons.6
The primary duty of the Sangguniang Panlungsod
as mandated by the proposed city charter was to
pass necessary ordinances and resolutions for the
efficient and effective government of the city. These
ordinances and resolutions should ensure the
efficient and effective delivery of the basic services
and installation of facilities as provided for under the
Local Government Code. They were also mandated to
formulate development plans, programs, objectives
and priorities. In order to achieve these, the charter
authorized the Sangguniang Panlungsod to generate
and maximize the use of the citys resources and
revenues.
The proposed City Charter also empowered the
Sangguniang Bayan to enact ordinances that would
grant franchises, and authorize the issuance of
permits or licenses which are intended to promote
the general welfare of the inhabitants of the City. The
regulation of these activities relative to the use of
land, buildings and structures within the City for the
purpose of promoting the general welfare also
formed part of their duties and functions.
For the Sangguniang Panlungsod to successfully
carry out their mandated duty of legislating
ordinances and resolutions, they would be guided by
Article VI entitled the Process of Legislation,
specifically, Section 12. The important provisions of
that section defined the internal rules of procedure
on the process by which the Sanggunian create
ordinances for the city. The Sangguniang Bayan was
directed by the proposed City Charter to conduct its
first regular session and adopt or update its existing
rules of procedure within ninety (90) days upon the
election of its members.
pg. 10

The rules of procedure that the Sangguniang


Panlungsod would consequently adopt should provide
for the election of its officers and the creation of
standing committee, such as, the committee on
appropriation, the committee women and family,
committee on human rights, committee on youth and
sports development, committee on environmental
protection, and the committee on cooperatives. The
rules of procedures should also define the general
jurisdiction of each committee and the election of the
chairman and members. The rules on how to
discipline a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod
members for disorderly behavior and absences also
formed parts of the aforementioned rules of
procedures.
Upon assumption to office, and in accordance with
Section 13 of the proposed City Charter, members of
the Sanggunian were required to fully disclose, in
writing any financial and business interests that may
include any business, financial, or professional
relationship or any relation by affinity or
consanguinity within the fourth civil degree. This is to
avoid the relationship which the member of the city
council may have with any person, firm or entity
affected by any ordinance or resolution under
consideration by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of
which he is a member, may result in conflict of
interest. This disclosure, which shall be made and
submitted to the secretary of the Sanggunian and to
the Secretary of the Committee of which he is a
member, before he participates in a deliberation, or
before voting on the ordinance or resolution or before
he takes a position or makes a privilege speech on a
matter that may affect the business interest,
financial connection, or professional relationship.7
The Sangguniang Panlungsod was directed by
Section 14, Article VI of the proposed city charter to
pg. 11

pass a resolution during the first council meeting


immediately following their election to immediately
fix the day, the time, and the place of its regular
session. These council sessions should be open to
the public, except when the majority of the members
present voted that it be held behind closed-doors for
reasons of security, decency, or morality. To record
its proceedings, the Sangguniang Panlungsod should
be kept by the Sangguniang Panlungsod in a journal
that it may publish upon its resolution.
Every ordinance that the city council have
enacted must be presented to the City Mayor for his
approval. This he does by affixing his signature on
each and every page in compliance with the
procedures set by Section 16. However, the City
Mayor per Section 17 may veto any ordinance on the
ground that it is prejudicial to the public welfare. The
same provision required him to state in writing his
reason for the veto. In case the City Mayor vetoes an
ordinance, the Sangguniang Panlungsod may
override through a vote by two-thirds of all its
members. In such case, the ordinance or resolutions
become effective for all legal intent and purposes.
After approval of an ordinance or resolution,
Section 20 directed the Secretary of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod to have copies of said ordinance or
resolution in a bulletin board at the entrance of the
City Hall and in at least two other conspicuous places
and disseminated in Pilipino or English and in the
language or dialect understood by the majority of the
residents in the city. The ordinance or resolution
takes effect ten days after this posting.
The elective positions of the City Mayor, City ViceMayor, and the regular members of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod may be sought by any person who
possessed the qualifications for said positions set by
the proposed City Charter. However, Article VII,
pg. 12

Section 21 of the charter also laid down the grounds


for disqualification of the following individuals from
running for any of these elective positions, these are:
1) Those persons who were sentenced by final
judgment for an offense involving moral
turpitude or for an offense punishable by one
year or more of imprisonment, within two years
after serving sentence and those individuals
who were removed from office as a result of an
administrative case.
2) Those persons convicted by final judgment for
violating the oath of allegiance to the Republic
of the Philippines.
3) Those with dual citizenship.
4) Those fugitives from justice in criminal or
nonpolitical cases here and abroad.
5) Those who were permanent residents in a
foreign country or those who have acquired the
right to reside abroad and continue to avail of
the same right after the effectivity of the Local
Government Code.
6) For obvious reasons, those individuals who
were insane or feeble-minded.
The Sanggunian Secretary and other Appointive City
Officials
The Local Government Code of 1991 empowers
the City Mayor and the City Vice-Mayor to appoint
city officials to positions to perform duties and
functions required by the exigencies of the City. The
code, in particular Article VIII, listed the titles,
qualifications, powers and duties of these appointive
city officials which it deemed mandatory in the
operation of the city. The city government may opt to
create offices and appoint officials as needed.
pg. 13

Heading the list is the position of the Secretary to the


Sangguniang Panlungsod.
In accordance with Section 25, the Secretary
should take charge of the office of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod. He should attend all its meetings and
keep a journal of its proceedings. He should also be
the keeper of the seal of the City where he affixes
the same with his signature to all ordinances,
resolutions, and other official acts of the
Sangguniang Panlungsod. He should then present
these records of the official acts of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod to the City Vice-Mayor, the presiding
officer, for signature.
To qualify for the position of the Sanggunian
Secretary, one should be Filipino, a resident of the
City of Dasmarias, and of good moral character. The
preferred educational qualification of a holder of said
position is a college degree in law. Graduates of
bachelors
degree
in,
commerce
or
public
administration from a recognized college or
university would also be considered. However, since
the position is a career in public service, the
candidate is required to possess a first grade civil
service eligibility or its equivalent.
The titles of other appointive city officials as
suggested in the proposed City Charter are listed
below. It includes a short description of their
proposed duties and functions.
The City Treasurer (Section 26) and the Assistant
City Treasurer (Section 27) were officially charged
with tax collection efforts of the City.
The City Assessor (Section 28) and the Assistant
City Assessor (Section 29) were tasked to ensure that
all laws and policies governing the appraisal and
assessment of real properties for taxation purposes
are properly executed.
pg. 14

The City Accountant (Section 30) shall perform the


accounting and internal audit services for the city.
The City Budget Officer (Section 31) would assist
the City Mayor in the preparation of the city budget
by reviewing and consolidating the budget proposals
of the different departments and offices of the city.
The City Planning and Development Coordinator
(Section 32) should be given the task of formulating
the citys integrated economic, social, physical, and
other development plans and policies.
The City Engineer and Building Official (Section
33) should be charged with the initiation, review and
recommendation of changes in policies and
objectives,
plans
and
programs,
techniques,
procedures and practices in the infrastructure
development and public works.
The City Health Officer (Section 34) should be
given the task of providing assistance to the City
Mayor in the efficient, effective and economical
implementation of a health services program geared
to implementation of health-related projects and
activities.
The City Civil Registrar (Section 35) should be
responsible for the citys civil registration program
pursuant to the civil registry law, the civil code, and
other pertinent laws, rules and regulations issued by
the national government to implement them.
The City Administrator (Section 36) should
develop plans and strategies and, implement the
same particularly those which have to do with the
management
and
citys
administration-related
programs and projects.
The City Legal Officer (Section 37) should be
responsible for providing legal assistance and
support to the City Mayor
pg. 15

The City Social Services and Development Officer


(Section 38) should develop and implement policies
and programs designed to improve the social
conditions of the disadvantaged, poor, aged and
needy individuals and families living in the City.
The City Environment and Natural Resources
Officer (Section 39) should provide technical
assistance and support to the City Mayor in carrying
out measures to ensure delivery of basic services
and provision of adequate facilities relative to
environment and natural resources services.
The City Architects (Section 40) should provide
technical assistance and support to the City Mayor
relative to architectural planning and design.
The City Information Officer (Section 41) should be
responsible for providing information and research
data required for the delivery of basic services and
provision of adequate facilities so that the public
becomes aware of said services and may fully avail
of the same.
The City Cooperative Officer (Section 42) should
carry out measures to ensure the development of
cooperatives, and in provide access for residents to
such services and facilities.
The City Population Officer (Section 43) should be
in-charge for the integration of the population
development principles and in providing access to
said services and facilities.
The City Veterinarian (Section 44) should develop
plans and strategies particularly those concerning
veterinary-related activities.
The City General Services Officer (Section 45)
should carry out measures to ensure the delivery of
basic services which require general services
expertise and technical support services.
pg. 16

The City International Relations Officer (Section


46) should be in the frontline for the enhancement of
international relations, particularly those which will
create investment opportunities in the City of
Dasmarias and those that will provide for the City in
terms of innovations, technical knowledge, new
trends
and
practices
in
local
government
management.
Other city officials per Section 47 were the City
Education Officer, the City Youth and Sports
Development Officer, and the City Public Safety
Officer.
The officer of the City Fire Station Services and
the City Jail Services were created under Article IX of
the proposed City Charter. The City Fire Station
Service (Section 48) should be conferred with the
responsibility of protecting the residents against fire
and provide various emergency services such as the
rescue and evacuation of injured people at firerelated incidents. It is headed by the City Fire
Marshall who should formulate fire prevention and
suppression measure to secure the safety of life and
property of the citizenry.
The City Jail Service, per Section 49, should be
established in order to provide and maintain a
secured, clean, adequately equipped and sanitary jail
for the custody and safekeeping of prisoners,
fugitives from justice, or persons detained awaiting
investigation or trial and/or transfer to the national
penitentiary, and/or violent mentally-ill person who
endangers himself or the safety of others after
having been duly certified as such by the proper
medical health officer, pending the transfer to a
mental institution. The city official charged with
managing the City Jail Service (Section 49) was the
City Jail Warden.
pg. 17

The office of the City Prosecutors Office should


also be established in accordance with the bills
Article X, Sections 50 and 51. It was to be headed by
the City Prosecutor who should conduct preliminary
investigations of all crimes and violations of City
ordinances and prosecute criminal cases.
The offices of the City Register of Deeds and the
City Land Transportation Office were created by
Article XI, Section 52 and 53 respectively.
The Transitory and Final Provisions
The Transitory and Final Provisions of the
proposed City Charter covered Section 56 to 64 of
Article XIII. This part included provisions that were
meant to ensure a smooth and trouble-free transition
for Dasmarias from its municipality status to the
city status in the event of the passage of House Bill
8931. Take for instance, Section 56 of said article,
decreed that all municipal ordinances of the
Municipality of Dasmarias existing at the time of the
approval of the proposed City Charter should
continue to be in force within the City until the
Sangguniang Panlungsod shall have passed an
ordinance that stated otherwise.
Another important provision of the proposed City
Charter contained in Section 57 required the conduct
of a plebiscite after the passage of the bill.
Participants to this plebiscite to be conducted for the
purpose of ratifying the proposed City Charter are
qualified voters of the municipality. The ratification
called for the affirmative vote by the majority of
these voters and shall bestow on Dasmarias its
corporate personality.
The provision, in Section 60, decreed the creation
of a congressional district for Dasmarias upon its
conversion. The first election for the position of the
pg. 18

Congressman to represent the would-be newlycreated city in the House of Representatives was set
in the 1998 elections.
The HOR Committee on Local Government
The completed draft of the proposed City Charter
of Dasmarias was filed with the Bills and Index
Division on February 11, 1997 and was numbered
House Bill No. 8931. The bill was later on reproduced
and within three days it was included in the order of
business for the First Reading. The Committee on
Rules to where the house bill was subsequently
transmitted, through the Majority Leader, referred
the bill to the House Committee on Local
Governments. Said committee was responsible for
considering proposed legislations with subjects that
are directly and principally related to autonomous
regions,
provinces,
cities,
municipalities
and
8
barangays.
As a matter of course, Congressman, during their
three-year tour of duty in the lower house are
assigned to various committees where they study,
deliberate on, and act upon all measures referred to
the House of Representatives. These referrals may
include bills, resolutions and petitions which they are
expected to recommend for approval or adoption if in
their judgment would advance the interests and
promote the welfare of the people.
These committees are referred to with the
moniker little legislatures for they determine the
fate of most proposals. It is in the committee stage
that a bill comes under the sharpest scrutiny
because most of the time its members and staff are
experts in the subjects under their jurisdiction.
Substantial revisions of a measure usually occur
at the committee level. Committees establish
pg. 19

appropriate systems and procedures to ensure that


constituencies, sectors and groups whose interests
are affected by any pending measure are given
sufficient opportunities to be heard. Most of the time
committees carry out researches, conduct dialogues,
and consultations. For this purpose, they usually
engage the services and assistance of experts and
professionals from the public or private sectors as
may be needed.
Committee
are
also
given
oversight
responsibilities so that they may determine whether
the bills, which have become laws and programs that
address subjects within their jurisdictions, are being
implemented and carried out in accordance with the
intent of Congress. The purpose of this oversight
function is to determine whether these laws and
programs should be continued, curtailed, or
eliminated.9
Going back, the Committee on Local Government
to where House Bill No. 8931 was referred to during
the
Tenth
Congress
was
chaired
by
the
th
representative of the 4 Congressional District of
Camarines Sur, Congressman Ciriaco R. Alfelor. The
Committee on Local Government first met to tackle
House Bill No. 8931 on August 13, 1997. During the
meeting they scrutinized the authenticity of
evidentiary documents submitted to support the
cityhood claim.
One of the evidences that Congressman Dragon
presented was a certification issued by the
Department of Finance of January 7, 1996. It declared
the income of the municipality to be P33 million.
Another was also a certification issued by the
National Statistics Office on January 2, 1996 attesting
to the towns population of 262,060. Although the
land area of Dasmarias was identified by
Congressman Dragon as 8,333.3 hectares, he was
pg. 20

still asked to submit a certification by the Land


Management Bureau to ascertain its accuracy. The
committee also required him to submit a map of the
Municipality indicating the classifications of different
municipal road network into national, provincial, or
municipal. House Bill No. 8931, as pointed out by the
Committee, also lacked the required meets and
bounds that defined the boundaries of the
municipality. The Committee requested Congressman
Dragon to submit same.
During the meeting, the Committee through its
Chairman Congressman has determined that there is
a need to conduct a public hearing on the measure
seeking cityhood for Dasmarias. The purpose of
which was to inform residents of the proposal and at
the same time enable the Committee to gain insight
and assess the residents sentiments about cityhood.
He informed Congressman Dragon that said public
hearing would be scheduled once the required
attachments
were
completed.
In
closing,
Congressman Alfelor remarked and expressed
confidence that once the lawmakers in the House of
Representatives approved House Bill No. 8931, it
would likewise be approved by their counterparts in
the Senate.10
The Public Hearing
There were two public hearings that the
Committee on Local Government had conducted in
order to gauge the residents opinion on the
Dasmarias cityhood. The first one was presided over
by Congressman Carlos M. Padilla, the representative
of the lone district of Nueva Vizcaya, who was the
Committees Vice Chairman. Due to Congressman
Ciriaco Alfelors absence during the public hearing,
another one was scheduled on October 3, 1997.11
pg. 21

The second public hearing was again held at the


DBB-B Elementary School. Town residents were
invited through public notices which announced the
date, time, and venue for the event. Invitations were
also issued to resource persons from the public and
private sectors, the academe, and experts on the
proposed legislation.
Three members of the House Committee on Local
Government were in attended the public hearing,
they were; Congressman Ciriaco Alfelor, the
Committee Chairman; Congressman Renato V.
Leviste of the First District of Mindoro; and
Congressman Carlos M. Padilla of the Lone District of
Nueva Vizcaya. The Committee brought along with
them a Secretariat composed of one Committee
Secretary, one Committee Researcher, and three
Legal Minutes Officers to record the proceedings.
Also in attendance were two of the three sponsors
of the bill Congressman Renato Dragon and
Congressman Telesforo Unas. Congressman Abaya
was unable to attend the public hearing due to an
unspecified reason. Provincial Board Member John Vic
Remulla also attended and so did the members of
the Dasmarias Sangguniang Bayan led by Mayor
Recto Cantimbuhan and Vice-Mayor Dino Macayan.
Municipal employees and the Chairmen of the
different barangays in the municipality, some
accompanied by their barangay tanods were also in
attendance. Aside from these officials, there were
eighteen guests invited to serve as resource persons
during the hearing. They were representatives from
civic organizations like the Jaycees, the Kiwanis Club,
the Lions Club, and the Rotary Club. The religious
organizations were represented as well as the
academe, business sector, citizen organizations, the
senior citizens group, the veterans, the drivers, and
the Citizens Brigade of Dasmarias. All attended the
pg. 22

public hearing to express their views on House Bill


No. 8931 and hear what the Committee had to say
about it.
In his welcome speech, Mayor Recto Cantimbuhan
reiterated
the
reasons
for
the
municipal
governments efforts to convert Dasmarias into a
city. The Mayor claimed that Dasmarias was one of
the largest and the most progressive municipalities
in the country. In view of this, people mostly from
Metro Manila and adjoining localities chose it as a
place for their education, their residence, for their
investment, and for some, a haven of employment
opportunities.
The presence of major universities and colleges,
according to Mayor Cantimbuhan, had earned for
Dasmarias the moniker, university town. Not only
that, the municipality was also nicknamed the
residential town owing to its numerous subdivisions
and resettlement areas. And finally, because of the
presence of three giant industrial parks in
Dasmarias, it also earned the title of commercial
and industrial town. As a result the towns
population swelled affecting the successful delivery
of basic services. He believed that cityhood, with its
guaranteed benefits, was the answer to the pressing
problem caused by it expanding population base.
Mayor Cantimbuhan stressed that it was the right
time to accomplish the cityhood for Dasmarias. He
stressed the urgency of the proposal while the town
is still qualified under the existing Local Government
Code. He exhorted his fellow Dasmarineos,
especially the youth who will inherit the town, to
unite and support the endeavor.
Mayor Cantimbuhan also took the opportunity
dispel speculations that is support for cityhood was
politically motivated. He declared that cityhood
pg. 23

would not help his political career by extending him


term as the mayor. He explained that he would no
longer be qualified to run for another term even if
Dasmarias was successfully converted into a city.
His participation in the whole endeavor, he clarified,
was not induced by vested personal interest.
After the Mayors speech, Congressman Alfelor
announced that Dasmarias would be the 71st
municipality in the country to be converted into a
city if it succeeds in the present efforts for cityhood.
He clarified that House Bill No. 8931 aimed to
convert Dasmarias into a component city because
at that time it does not qualify for the higher income
and population requirements of an independent and
a highly urbanized city. Congressman Alfelor
continued that as a component city, Dasmarias will
continue to be supervised by the provincial
government. Its residents would still be eligible to
participate as candidates or voters in the election of
provincial officials.
With the passage of the cityhood bill, the
Committee Chairman told the town residents that
Dasmarias would be entitled to an increased share
in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). He estimated
that as a municipality, Dasmarias received more or
less P120 million pesos from the IRA. Once cityhood
is attained, this would be increased to more or less
P200 million pesos.
Cityhood is a good thing, he told the
Dasmarineos present during the public hearing. He,
however, cautioned them that they would have to
work hard to keep it Dasmarias beautiful and keep it
apace with other cities in terms of progress. They
should never allow it to lag behind.
After
the
Chairmans
opening
statement,
Congressman Leviste moved to dispense with the
pg. 24

calling of the roll of members and for the approval in


toto of the minutes of the previous meeting of the
Committee. Both motions were duly seconded and
the Chairman announced that explanation of the bill
by its author be also dispensed inasmuch he had
covered the subject in his opening statement. He
then announced that the meeting proceeds with its
main agenda and called on the invited guests.
The representative from Jose Rizal Memorial
Foundation Hospital, a Sister Castor was the first to
be called. When she spoke, Sister Castor declared
her institutions support for the pursuance of
Dasmarias
aspiration
for
progress
and
development. In connection with this, she asked the
Committee how the Jose Rizal Memorial Foundation
Hospital may contribute to further these aspirations
once cityhood is attained. She also asked the
Committee what benefits her institution can derive
from cityhood.
Congressman Alfelor replied that the Jose Rizal
Memorial
Foundation
Hospital
could
receive
increased funding from the city government due to
its higher income. With this, he continued, the
hospital could expand its medical and health
services. As to her institutions role in the community
once cityhood is attained, Congressman Alfelor
emphasized that non-governmental agencies such as
the Jose Rizal Memorial Foundation Hospital and the
city administration should continue to strive for
better coordination. In this way, both institutions
could continue to dispense efficient and better
services to the residents. After hearing these, Sister
Castor reiterated her institutions commitment to
support for the proposed conversion of Dasmarias
into a city.
The First Cavite Industrial Estate (FCIE) sent as
representative its President, Mr. Melecio Balilo. The
pg. 25

FCIE in 1997 hosted seventy four (74) local and


foreign companies which employed over eight
thousand (8,000) men and women workers so as
expected, Mr. Balilos concerns were about the
effects of cityhood to labor, management, and the
day-to-day operations of the estate.
It was Congressman Dragon who took the floor
and replied to these concerns. He explained that the
expected increase in the income of Dasmarias will
enable it to build infrastructures such as roads,
improve industrial, communication, health and
medical facilities, roads, and deliver better services
making it more attractive for investment.
Moreover, with the additional funds, the city will
be able to improve manpower profile by conducting
skill development and enhancement training.
Company owners in the industrial estates would be
consulted in order to tailor-fit these training and
development programs to their needs. These training
programs would make Dasmarineos more qualified
and better equipped to handle jobs offered by
companies in these estates and even anywhere. This
would also benefit prospective employers because of
the savings that would result by not longer from
tapping outside sources for their manpower needs.
Congressman Dragons explanation appeared to
have successfully assured Mr. Balilo that cityhood for
Dasmarias would benefit the FCIE community and
those of other industrial estates. In view of this, he
declared his support for the proposal.
The representative from Technological University
of the Philippines (TUP) was the next to guest to be
called. However, Mr. Rey Jorda, the President of the
Faculty Association of the TUP satellite campus in
Dasmarias was not able to make it to the hearing.
The university sent a certain Mrs. Mabalot, the
pg. 26

Assistant Director for Research and Extension, was


sent in his stead. Mrs. Mabalot began her
presentation with the announcement that TUP
satellite campus hosted one thousand five hundred
scholars. She said that this number was expected to
increase in the coming years in which case, she said
the university would need to construct additional
classrooms in order to accommodate these scholars.
Mrs. Mabalot then announced that the TUP
satellite campus supports the proposal because it
would be mutually beneficial for Dasmarias and the
university. Mrs. Mabalot also took the opportunity to
seek the help of the Dasmarias government in
facilitating their request with the FCIE to expand their
existing linkage to include research and extension.
Among those who also expressed their support for
cityhood were; Rev. Dr. Reuel Talapian the university
chaplain of the Philippine Christian UniversityDasmarias and Mr. Jacinto Gutierrez the president of
the DBB-B Elementary School Parents Teachers
Association. Rev. Talapian declared that his group
welcomed the cityhood of Dasmarias and believed
that it was long overdue. For his part, Mr. Gutierrez
wanted to know what additional benefits pertaining
to his school and its students would the cityhood will
bring. Congressman Alfelor passed the question over
to Mayor Cantimbuhan who explained that with the
increase in the IRA, the city administration would be
able to improve roads going to schools and increase
the citys Local School Board Fund that would enable
it to construct new school building without bothering
to ask the national government. This would also
facilitate the development of the citys sports
programs and increase salaries for teachers.
Even the jeepney drivers plying the DasmariasDBB route were represented. Their president, Mr.
Nonong Mallari, attended the public hearing to
pg. 27

convey his groups concern that the problem of


traffic congestion in the municipality would worsen
once it was converted into a city. He also expressed
the apprehension that putting up an LTO satellite
office would merely bring with it the problems and
corruption in that agency.
The drivers association, according to Mr. Mallari,
supports cityhood for Dasmarias but he and his
group did not want to be placed in the same difficult
situation as their fellow drivers in Manila.
Congressman Dragon replied that there was really no
point in comparing Dasmarias with Manila because
they have different set of problems. By putting up a
satellite office in the municipality, the government
agency concerned could better address the concern
of the public. He said that it would be a good thing
because it brings their services to the drivers. This
way they dont have to go to Manila for their
concerns.
The Veterans Group had two representatives; they
were Mr. Sayuno, the Vice Post Commander, and Mr.
Samuel Guerrero, the Post Chaplain, both claimed to
have represented the president, Mr. Fermin de la
Cruz. Mr. Sayuno said that he was not personally
against cityhood but claimed that could not confirm
whether his colleagues in the association share his
opinion but promised to consult his group on the
proposal. Mr. Samuel Guerrero who claimed to also
represent the group belied Mr. Sayunos claim
because
according
to
him
there
was
an
overwhelming approval by the members of their
group to the proposed cityhood of Dasmarias. He
then declared the associations support for the
cityhood proposal.
An associate editor of the Technocrats, the
official school organ of the TUP-Cavite and a DOST
scholar, Mr. Jerric Quiones, also attended the public
pg. 28

hearing. Mr. Quiones first concern was for cityhood


to generate more jobs for the graduates of colleges
and universities in the municipality. However, he
worried that this would cause the increase in the
incidence of heinous crimes, prostitution, and illegal
drug. Addressing the municipal officials, he asked
how they would mitigate the situation when these
concerns arise in the future.
It was Congressman Alfelor who replied and he
cautioned Mr. Quinones against linking growth and
development to criminality. He said that there was
really no connection because such crimes as drug
addiction and prostitution are caused by poverty. This
simply would not happen, he said, because cityhood
would bring about prosperity. This opinion was
echoed by Mayor Cantimbuhan.
When his turn to present came, Mr. Angelito Veluz,
Barangay Captain of Barangay Zone 3 Poblacion,
asked the committee what additional privileges await
barangay captains once cityhood is attained. He also
wanted to be assured that any progress gained
through cityhood would cascade down to their
respective barangays
Mayor Cantimbuhan gave the assurance that
more assistance was forthcoming in the form of
increased share in the IRA. At present, the Mayor
said, the municipal government had difficulty
securing funds for barangay tanods which number
over one thousand five hundred. With the increased
IRA allotment, funds would become available for their
allowances and insurances. With this explanation, Mr.
Veluz declared that he had no objection to House Bill
No. 8931.
Mrs. Petra Cantada, the president of the
Dasmarias Public School Teachers Association did
not wait for the question but readily manifested her
pg. 29

groups approval for the proposal. Just like the groups


that presented before her, Mrs. Cantada wanted to
know the benefits the members of Dasmarias Public
School Teachers Association could look forward to
expect from cityhood. Upon conversion into a city,
Congressman Alfelor replied, Dasmarias would have
its own superintendent and even its own school
board fund because it would no longer be supervised
by the Provincial Superintendent.
After
hearing
the
Committee
Chairmans
explanation, Mrs. Cantada reiterated her groups
approval to which Congressman Alfelor answered in
jest Maraming salamat, Mrs. Superintendent. Mrs.
Cantada replied, Malayo pa ho yon. Congressman
Dragon added that the new city mayor of
Dasmarias City will be the one to decide on those
additional
benefits
and
not
Mayor
Recto
Cantimbuhan because he was disqualified to run for
a fourth term.
The senior citizens group also sent their
representative in the person of the Chairman of the
Board of Directors, Mr. Enedino Ayson. Mr. Ayson
represented the organization of senior citizens of
Barangay Sto. Nio II. He announced that his group
supported House Bill No. 8931. He also wanted to
know if there were plans to grant senior citizens of
Dasmarias with additional privileges. Mayor
Cantimbuhan assured him that there would be
additional benefits, just like their counterparts in
Manila, which would be over and above the ones
mandated by the law on senior citizens.
Mrs. Rosie Esguerra of the womens group,
Samahan ng Kababaihan ng Dasmarias (SAKADA),
asked the Committee on the effects of cityhood to
the standards of living of ordinary residents
particularly among the unemployed women of
Dasmarias. The Committee through Chairman
pg. 30

Alfelor replied that the increase in the IRA allotment


would enable the building of infrastructures making
the city more attractive for investment. This would
result to the creation of additional employment
opportunities for the women of Dasmarias. In
addition, the city would also be able to put up its own
Center for disadvantaged women where they could
be trained to put up their own businesses.
Due to the absence of two invited resource
persons, Pastor Bruzola of the Association of
Christian Churches and of Mrs. Reyes of the Pastoral
Council of Dasmarias, Congressman Alfelor called
on the Municipal Assessor, Mr. Regalado Andaya. Mr.
Andaya was invited to debunk the allegation that
cityhood would result to the increase in real estate
taxes. He explained that increased taxation could
occur whether or not cityhood is attained. He
revealed that there was an on-going general revision
of tax schedules all over the country that could result
increased taxation. There was an on-going anticityhood campaign, he said, that anchored their
opposition
on
the
taxation
issue.
Urging
Dasmarineos not to fall for this ruse, he made it
clear to them that the resistance of the misguided
few against House Bill No. 8931 had no basis at all.
In addition, Mr. Andaya announced that
Dasmarias has topped all municipalities in the
province of Cavite in revenue collections due to its
improved tax collection efforts. He believed that the
gains recently realized by his department would be
sustained through the computerization of the
revenue collection systems which began in time for
the on-going general revisions on tax collection
schedules. Mr. Andaya capped his speech with an
announcement for Bagumbayan residents where he
assured them that once cityhood is attained,
arrangements will be made with the National
pg. 31

Housing Authority to have their tax declarations


issued to them.
The Dean of Students of the De La Salle
UniversityDasmarias, Ms. Fely Antonio, was invited
for the public hearing but failed to appear when she
was called. The Committee decided to proceed with
the next invited resource person and called on Mrs.
Melba Malihan, the Chapter President of the Kiwanis
Club of Dasmarias Central. Mrs. Malihan brought up
two questions concerning House Bill No 8931; first,
she wanted to know if there were limits of the city
councils power, in particular its power to pass
ordinances on taxation. This was obviously with
reference to the issue of increased taxation upon
cityhood which the Municipal Assessor had just
explained. She also wanted to know if the would-be
city government would be following a blueprint
regarding expenditure of its funds against the
different priority programs and would the academe,
NGOs, and the business sector be involved in the
formulation of said blueprint.
In reply Congressman Alfelor said he believed that
most Dasmarineos were supportive of the House Bill
No. 8931 because they wanted to see their town turn
into a city. They, however, have this mistaken
apprehension that it would bring automatic increase
taxation. To allay their fears, he announced that the
Committee on Local Government would move for the
amendment House Bill No. 8931 so that taxation
would be suspended for five years after its approval.
As to Mrs. Malihans second concern, the Committee
Chairman assured her that such a blueprint was in
fact attached to the bill. According to Congressman
Alfelor, these documents were prerequisites and
should be submitted before the bill would even be
considered.
pg. 32

Mr. Cesar Barzaga attended the public hearing for


the Citizens Brigade of Dasmarias in lieu of its
President Mr. Alex Agoncillo. He claimed that his
group was not against House Bill No. 8931, but
believed that it was not yet time for Dasmarias to
become a city. First, he complained that the town
reeked of pig manure. Then, he said that upon
approval of the bill the city would incur excessive
spending in putting up satellite office of government
agencies. According to him, salaries and wages
would increase once taxes were raised. This would
create negative effects on business as investors
would be deterred from investing in Dasmarias due
to the added cost. Mr. Barzaga also expected the rise
in the cost of living upon cityhood. In this connection,
Mr. Barzaga quipped that he will make his decision
whether or not to support House Bill No. 8931 once
all those promised by cityhood were realized.
After briefly responding to Mr. Barzagas concerns,
Congressman Alfelor asked the representative of
various civic clubs in the municipality of their stand
towards the cityhood proposal. All of them; the
Kiwanis Club of Dasmarias, the Rotary Club, and the
Jaycees expressed support. In closing the public
hearing, Congressman Alfelor declared that By the
virtue of the power vested in me as Chairman, I
hereby approve in principle House Bill No. 8931
subject to style.
The Committee Report
Armed with a four-month worth of information
from numerous debates, deliberations, and two
public hearings, the Committee on Local Government
considered itself ready to decide the fate of House
Bill No. 8931. Deciding that the proposed City
Charter for Dasmarias has satisfactorily complied
with the requirements of the Local Government Code
pg. 33

of 1991, Congressman Alfelor had a committee


report drafted. The committee report recommended
the approval of the bill with amendments. It was filed
as Committee Report No. 1361 on December 16,
1997. Attached to the report was a memorandum
which was dated December 12, 1997 by written by
Atty. Arlene Dada-Arnaldo, the Acting DeputySecretary for Committee Affairs Department, to the
Director for Plenary Affairs Bureau, Atty. Cesar Pareja,
urging his appropriate action on the report.12
The
fact
sheet
that
accompanied
the
memorandum stated that after thorough evaluation,
the Committee has concluded that Dasmarias had
satisfactorily met all the requirements for cityhood,
as evidenced by the accompanying documents and
certifications, in accordance with the conditions set
by the Local Government of 1991. In support of this a
copy of the minutes of the Committee meeting dated
26 November1997 was also attached. In that
meeting, the motion of Congressman Plaridel Abaya
for the approval of HB 8931 was put on record with
Congressman Alfelor noting that the bill has already
been approved in principle during the October 3,
1997 public hearing in Dasmarias.
The minutes of the Committee hearing also
recorded its objection to the creation of a new
legislative district for the proposed city of
Dasmarias. This meant that even if converted into a
city, it will continue to be under the representation of
the Congressman of the 2nd District of Cavite.
Moreover, in response to the apprehension expressed
by most Dasmarineos during the public hearing, the
committee had agreed to include a provision
declaring a five-year tax moratorium after the
creation of the city. These two concerns were
addressed and introduced as amendments to House
Bill No. 8931.13
pg. 34

There were other amendments introduced on


House Bill No. 8931. The first amendment was on
page 3, Section 8, paragraph (a). It created
additional positions for appointive city officials,
namely: the City Education Officer, the City Youth and
Sports Development Officer, and the City Public
Safety Officer.
The second amendment was made on page 33,
Section 38. It deleted the services word to be
replaced with WELFARE. Thirdly, on page 44,
Section 57, replaced the phrase simultaneously with
the elections with WITHIN ONE HUNDRED TWENTY
(120) DAYS FROM THE EFFECTIVITY OF THIS ACT.
The fourth amendment, also on the same page, was
the insertion of a new Section 60 to read as follows:
SECTION 60 SUSPENSION OF INCREASE IN RATES
OF LOCAL TAXES. NO INCREASE IN THE RATES OF
LOCAL TAXES SHALL BE IMPOSED BY THE CITY
WITHIN A PERIOD OF FIVE (5) YEARS FROM ITS
ACQUISITION OF CORPORATE EXISTENCE. The
number five amendment was the renumbering of the
succeeding sections. The sixth and the final
amendment was the insertion of the word
COMPONENT between the letter A and the word
City.14

The Period of Sponsorship and Debates


After it was filed on December 16, 1997, House
Bill No. 8931 with the accompanying Committee
Report 1361 was transmitted to the Office of the
Speaker of the House of Representatives with the
recommendation for its approval with amendments.
The bill was then included in the Order of Business
and was subsequently referred to the House
Committee on Rules in order to be scheduled for the
pg. 35

Second Reading. At this stage, the bill is read for the


second time in its entirety together with the
amendments.15
What followed was the sponsorship speech of the
author of the bill and an open debate. There was no
debate that took place on the second reading which
took place on December 17, 1997, because Majority
Floor Leader Rodolfo Albano, Congressman of
Isabela, moved to close the period of sponsorship
and debate after the Secretary General read the
number, title and text of the bill.
Following the approval of the motion by Deputy
Speaker, Congressman Simeon Datumanong of the
2nd District of Maguindanao, proceeded to enumerate
the amendments recommended by the Committee
on Local Government contained in the Committee
Report 1361 and moved that said amendments to be
adopted. That motion was approved and so was the
motion to close the period of amendments. In the
viva voce voting that followed, House Bill No. 8931
with
its
accompanying
amendments
was
16
unanimously approved.
Preparations for the third and final reading
commenced immediately went under way upon
approval in the second reading. As soon as the
amendments were engrossed, the bill was
reproduced, and copies of the final version of the bill
were distributed to members of the House of
Representatives. On the day of the third reading the
Secretary General read only the bills number and
title on the floor. After this, a roll call or nominal
voting was called. At this stage of the lawmaking
process, no amendment on the bill is allowed. During
the nominal voting that day the affirmative votes of a
majority of the Members approved bill. It was time to
refer House Bill No. 8931 for concurrence of the
Philippine Senate.
pg. 36

Disappointment in the Philippine Senate


On January 12, 1998, the approved house bill was
transmitted and received by the Senate. On that
same day the bill was referred to the Senate
Committee on Local Government. A meeting of the
committee which was chaired at that time by Senator
Vicente Sotto III, together with its members Senator
Juan Flavier, Senator Ana Dominique Coseteng,
Senator Ernesto Herrera, Senator Blas Ople, Senator
Alberto Romulo, and Senator Raul Roco took place on
January 15, 1998.
After having considered House Bill No. 8931 in the
said meeting, the Committee prepared a report
endorsing the bill for approval. It was signed by the
Chairman and all the conferees except Senator
Alberto G. Romulo who was not available at that
time. Even ex-officio members Senator Francisco
Tatad and Senator Neptali Gonzales affixed their
signatures in the committee report. It was
subsequently filed by the Secretary of the Legislative
Committee, Emily Jane L. Ferrer on January 22, 1998
as Committee Report No. 869 and on January 28 was
submitted with the recommendation for its approval
with amendments. It was subsequently assigned for
consideration for special order.17
The next step would have been the production of
copies of House Bill No. 8931 accompanied by the
Senate Committee Report No. 869 for signature by
the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, certified by both the Secretary of
the Senate and the Secretary General of the House
for transmittal to the President of the Republic of the
Philippines for approval. The President of the
Republic would have either approved or vetoed the
bill. If approved it would have been assigned a
Republic Act (RA) number and transmitted to the
pg. 37

House where it originated. The bill would have been


reproduced and copies of which were sent to the
Official Gazette Office for publication and distribution
to the implementing agencies. It would then be
included in the annual compilation of Acts and
Resolutions. This, however, did not happen. The last
action taken on HBN 8931 as indicated in the Senate
History of Bills and Resolutions for the Tenth
Congress was the submission of the Committee
Report No. 869 on January 28, 1998.
The dream of cityhood which began in 1989 with
so much hope ended in utter disappointment for the
Dasmarineos. Nine years of research and hard work
have all gone to waste. Vice-Mayor Macayan
described the mood in the Sangguniang Bayan of
Dasmarias as that disappointment and frustration
at the Senates inaction on House Bill No. 8931.
When interviewed, both Congressman Barzaga
and former Vice-Mayor Macayan claimed that two
Senators were responsible for the failure of House Bill
8931 in the Senate. The first one was Senator
Ernesto Maceda, the Senate President at that time.
He did not support the bill due to his antagonism
towards Congressman Dragon. The second reason
was Senator Ramon Revilla Sr. who successfully
blocked the passage of House Bill 8931 because
House Bill No. 8959 which sought the conversion of
the Municipality of Bacoor into a city also failed. As a
matter pride, he wanted Bacoor to achieve city
status ahead of Dasmarias. His fellow senators were
unable to convince him to change his stand because
there was an unwritten rule Senators where they
may not approve any legislation that has local
application without the consent of a Senator from the
affected locality. In the case of House Bill No. 8931,
Senator Ramon Revilla, Sr. whose municipality of
pg. 38

Bacoor failed to qualify as a city refused to give that


consent.18

NOTES
pg. 39

Philippine Congress, Rules of the House of Representatives, 15th Congress 2010-2013, pdf file.

Philippine Congress, Rules of Senate (August 9, 2010), pdf file.

This portion is based on the provisions of House Bill No. 8931 unless otherwise indicated. See,
Philippine Congress, House of Representatives, an Act Converting the Municipality of Dasmarias
into a City to be known as the City of Dasmarias, 10th Congress, 2nd Regular Session, House Bill
No. 8931, (11 February 1997).
4

Republic Act No. 6758, AN ACT PRESCRIBING A REVISED COMPENSATION AND POSITION
CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM IN THE GOVERNMENT AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, approved on August
21, 1989 as amended by Joint Resolution No. 24 or the Salary Standardization of 1994. See,
http://www.gov.ph/1989/08/21/republic-act-no-6758/accessed 7 October 2014.
5

Permanent vacancy arises when an elective local official fills a higher vacant office, refuses to
assume office, fails to qualify, dies, is removed from office, voluntarily resigns or is otherwise
permanently incapacitated to discharge the functions of his office. Temporary vacancy, on the
other hand, occurs when the City Mayor is temporarily incapacitated to perform his duties for
physical or legal reasons such as, but not limited to, leave of absence, travel abroad, and
suspension from office. See, House Bill No. 8931.
6

House Bill No. 8931 did not specify the number of member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
The regular members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the sectoral representatives shall be
elected in the same manner as may be provided by law.
7

Conflict of interest refers in general to one where it may be reasonably deduced that a
member of a Sangguniang Panlungsod may not act in the public interest due to some private,
pecuniary, or other personal considerations that may tend to affect his judgment to the prejudice
of the service of the public.
8

House Rules of the House of Representatives, 15th Congress 2010-2013, pdf file.

Ibid.

10

Minutes of August 13, 1997 Committee Meeting, Committee on Local Government, House of
Representatives. 042
11
This section was based on the Minutes of the October 3, 1997 public hearing conducted by
the HOR Committee on Local Government unless otherwise indicated. See, House of
Representatives, Committee on Local Government, Public Hearing on the Cityhood of Dasmarias,
10th Congress, 2nd Regular Session, 3 October 1997.
12

Dada-Arnaldo memorandum to Pareja dated 12 December 1997, TMS photocopy.

13

House of Representatives, Committee on Local Government, Minutes of Committee Meeting


(November 26, 1997).
14

House of Representatives, Committee on Local Government, Committee Report No. 1361,


10th Congress, 3rd Regular Session, 16 December 1997.
15

Hector De Leon, Jr., Textbook on the Philippine Constitution 2011, Rex Publishing House:
Manila 2011, 536-537.
16
House of Representatives, Minutes of the House of Representative General Assembly, 17
December 1997. 18-20
17

Senate: History of Bills and Resolutions: Tenth Congress 1995-1998 vol. 2., HBN8931, p. 411

18

Congressman Dragon sponsored in 1997 also sponsored House Bill No. 8960 for Imus and
House Bill No. 8959 for Bacoor, but only House Bill No. 8931 reached the Senate for approval.