SPECIAL PROJECTS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES IN 2009
Aside from the regular mandate and responsibilities of the SP Secretariat Office as mentioned above, the office also performed other duties and functions which equally required much time, effort and attention. These responsibilities were referred to as Special Projects and/or Special Activities and did not follow a typical schedule in terms of occurrence and output delivery which somehow made some of these responsibilities difficult to accomplish but were actually done.
The Codification of the Cebu City Ordinances is a historical and active document depository of 2,141 ordinances that were enacted since 1945 up to March 31 of 2008. The process of codifying is to reduce, simplify, and classify all these ordinances into one new Code that provides easy guidance and reference to legislators and the public.
The task of codifying was outsourced to the University of Southern Philippines Foundation-Center for Local Governance (USPF-CLG) in 2008 with a project grant of P2.1 million as NGO assistance from the Cebu City Government. The project which started in January 2008 was completed in June 2008 and three (3) sets of Books, namely: Book I – Compendium of ordinances, Book II – Existing City Codes, and Book III – Book of Recommendations, were launched in July 1, 2008 after the inaugural session of the 11th City Council. Gracing the affair, were Vice-Mayor Michael L. Rama, USP President Alicia P. Cabatingan with the USPF Codification Team. Also during the book launching, twenty-five (25) including the Assistant City Secretary, seventeen (17) Executive Assistants from the various legislative offices, as well as some SP Secretariat staff for having completed their training on the Amendment Application Protocol (AAP) system that ensures the continuity of the codification beyond the project life.
In addition to the hardbound copies of Books I to III, digital copies are likewise stored in the computer database thru a system program for easy retrieval and printing which was turned over by the USPF-CLG to the Sanggunian. Both the software and hardware can be accessed at the SP e-library, 4th floor, of the Legislative Building. Researchers from within the SP and even from outside the City Hall have made use of these books. Although there is already available database, these have not been uploaded in the City Government website until now. Hon. Roberto A. Cabarrubias, Chair of the Committee on Information technology of the City Council, is now coordinating closely with the MICS office for establishing a website for the Cebu City Code.
Towards the latter part of 2008, an evaluation of the output of the USPF, which was led by Vice-Mayor Rama, pointed out that the books delivered were mere compilation of the Cebu City Ordinances and existing Codes. The project fell short of producing a single Master Code. In February 10, 2009, a memorandum was issued by then Acting Vice-Mayor Hilario P. Davide III creating the Cebu City Hall Codification Team led by Hon. Cabarrubias, to come up with a single New Code.
After working for several months, the Team was able to draft the proposed Cebu City Code which was submitted to the City Council on October 14, 2009. The proposed ordinance entitled “An Ordinance Enacting the Cebu City Code of 2009” contains all existing ordinances that were classified and categorized into the following Chapters: Charter and It’s Powers; General Provisions; Personnel and Administration; Revenue and Finance; Health and Safety; Public Peace, Morals and Welfare; Vehicles and Traffic; Public Services; Building and Construction; Zoning; and Miscellaneous Provisions. The draft Cebu City Code is now being referred to the various committees of the City Council and to the different executive departments for comments and recommendations. As of this date, only the Committee on Laws, Housing and Health and Hospital Services have rendered their Committee Reports.
This project involves the electronic archival of all approved resolutions and ordinances of the Sangguniang Panlungsod using the Laserfiche Technology. Laserfiche is a search engine software used in the storage and retrieval of documents that have been scanned through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to facilitate the search by use of keywords and wild searches.
Being a component of the planned SP Management Information System (SPMIS), the output of the said project is also a very useful input in the codification project.
This project is another component of planned SPMIS, the Legislative Tracking project shall be used to track the processes paper trail and status of resolutions and ordinances particularly in terms of implementation. The project is intended to provide assistance to the SP in the formulation of needed legislative intervention through a comprehensive research and tracking of ordinances.
This project is still in the preparatory stage and full implementation will be done upon the hiring of the additional staff of the SP. Also to be able to fully carry out the legislative tracking, the SPMIS project will also be made fully operational. The SPMIS is the planned comprehensive information system that facilitates the SP operation starting from the Agenda to Resume’ and Minutes Production.