The DILG has thrown a bone for the City Council when it released an Opinion on the legality of Mayor Felipe Remollo’s appointment of his City Councilors in the legislative branch as his Deputy Mayors in the executive branch.
The Opinion, dated Sept. 29 and signed by DILG UnderSec. Juan Victor Llamas, states that based on the information furnished to them by their Regional Director for Central Visayas, the Mayor’s appointment of deputy mayors is tantamount to usurpation that violates the separation of powers principle.
The Opinion also took an opposing view from a 2016 opinion that justified Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s appointment of deputy mayors.
The DILG Opinion also suggested that the matter may be referred to appropriate authorities.
As you may have figured out by now, the document is nothing more than that—an opinion.
To “throw a bone” is to offer (someone) something that is not very important or valuable, to especially stop complaints or protests.
The DILG Opinion served as a bone for the Councilors to chew on, without necessarily giving them any intellectual nourishment. It did not actually settle the issue that continues to baffle the people, as it persists to divide the City Council.
Among the functions of the DILG is to establish and prescribe rules, regulations, and other issuances implementing laws on public order and safety, provide general supervision over local governments, encourage the promotion of local autonomy and community empowerment, and monitor their compliance.
But based on what we are experiencing, the DILG seems unable to go beyond issuing an Opinion, just like in the case of the recent gubernatorial row where the DILG only issued a gentle statement to “suggest” that Gov. Henry Pryde Teves give way to Gov. Roel Degamo.
In that case, perhaps the DILG can better change its name to Department of Suggestions & Opinions on Local Government.
Which probably sounds better than the Department of Bone Management.