TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan- Yet another brewing issue caught up the camps of Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba and Vice Governor Melvin Vargas Jr, as the earlier claimed the provincial library should be under his administration, and not the latter’s.
In his executive order, Mamba tried to overturn a supposed “legislative action” of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) in 1999, snatching the jurisdiction of the provincial library from the office of the governor to the SP.
Mamba reasoned out that the provincial library, now called Provincial Learning and Resource Center (PLRC), had been “originally and traditionally under the administration, control, and supervision of the Office of the Governor.”
In 1999, the SP reportedly aligned the budget of the provincial library to their administration, under the line budget “Library Division.”
The provincial board then claimed that the library “functionally” falls under the legislative services.
Mamba questioned the almost 20-year old legislation, calling it “unilateral and self-serving.”
“It is a public knowledge that the Provincial Library, or any other public library of that nature in the Philippines, caters to the general public,” Mamba said in his order.
“By the public nature of its function, the Provincial Library…should and as it ought to be, under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Governor, the delivery of public services being essentially an executive function,” Mamba added.
‘No legal basis’
In a statement, Vargas hit Mamba’s order, saying it cannot stand due to “lack of enough legal basis.”
The vice governor said that while he acknowledges the vast power given to the governor by the Local Government Code (LGC), the administration of the PLRC “is not among them.”
Vargas, acting as presiding officer of the provincial lawmakers, said section 469 of the LGC gives the provincial board secretary the custody of local archives, including the local library.
He said his camp is now studying Mamba’s order, as he stood firm that SP’s administration of the provincial library is “legal and right.”
“Bagama’t nabanggit sa nasabing Executive Order na ang dating pamamahala ng PLRC ay nasa ilalim ng Office of the Governor, walang sapat na basehang legal upang ibalik ito ditto,” Vargas said.
Vargas added that even the Civil Service Commission recognized SP’s jurisdiction when it approved Vargas’ appointments of the library’s department head and other employees.
The vice governor said he would not abandon the control over the provincial until a court orders him to do so.
Mamba and Vargas, with the majority of the provincial board members, have been in a political war since the latter questioned Mamba’s budget proposal, leading to word wars and eventually, delay of the 2017 and 2018 budget. Northernforum.net