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Rep. Fortuno sponsors bill qualifying punong barangays to administer oath of office

The House of Representatives has approved on final reading the measure empowering the Punong barangay to administer the oath of office to any government official, including the President of the Republic of the Philippines.
Rep. Salvio Fortuno (5th District, Camarines Sur)
"This is in recognition of the very important role of the Punong barangay in the political structure of government," Rep. Salvio Fortuno (5th District, Camarines Sur), main author of HB 2729, stressed.

The measure was passed by plenary by a vote of 195 affirmative with no negative vote and no abstention.

Fortuno expressed his appreciation to the support for the measure during plenary debates until its third and final reading approval last May 21st given by his colleagues, especially chairperson Marlyn L. Primicias-Agabas of the Committee on Revision of Laws who is also co-author of the measure.

HB 2729 further amends Section 41 of Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987, as amended.

The author recalled the euphoria generated by the pronouncement after election in 2010 of then President-apparent Benigno Simeon Aquino III to take his oath before a punong barangay in his hometown in Tarlac has brought to the fore the issue as to whether or not thepunong barangay can administer the oath to the highest official of the land.

"The great enthusiasm experienced by punong barangays at that time had practically been doused with cold water when several legal luminaries expressed their legal views that thepunong barangay has no power to administer oath except "in connection with any matter relating to all proceedings in the implementation of the katarungang pambarangay."

Fortuno said that, when enacted into law, the proposed amendment should give elected officials, including the President of the Republic, an appropriate choice on who among the public officials would administer one's oath of office.

Section 41 of E.O. No. 292, or the Administrative Code of 1987 is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"Section. 41 Officers Authorized to Administer Oath. The following officers have general authority to administer oaths: President; Vice President, Members and Secretaries of both Houses of Congress; Members of the Judiciary; Secretaries of Departments; Provincial governors and Vice governors; city mayors; municipal mayors; punong barangays; bureau directors; regional directors; clerk of courts’ registrars of deeds; other civilian officers in public service of the government of the Philippines whose appointments are vested in the President and are subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments; all other constitutional officers; PAO lawyers in connection with the performance of duty and notaries public." (by Dionisio P. Tubianosa, Media Relations Service-PRIB)

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