The city council amends its house rules regarding the questioning hour and privilege speech schedule.

The City Council on Monday spent almost an hour bickering about switching the privilege speech and question hour schedule to maximize its time.

Atty. Phillip Hilario, secretary of Sangguniang Panlungsod, requested the city council to amend the current house rules.

“We request the council to switch the privilege hour and question hour in order to accommodate the guests kasi naghihintay sila ng matagal pag nagpri-privilege (speech) tayo,” Atty. Hilario said.

Councilor Jimbo Maristela referred the secretary’s request to the committee of the whole for further discussion.

However, councilor Nesario Awat opposed Maristela’s referral citing the instant circumstance that happened during the session where the guest for the question hour left before the question-and-answer segment.

“The matter concerned right now is urgent (anticipating the following session schedules) and I move for the council to decide right now. As observed, hindi lang ngayon but noon pa, the guests already left kasi nasasayang yung mga oras nila. Yung mga guests po natin ay mga opisyal din at may kanya-kanyang trabaho,” Awat said.

Councilors Dilig, Ventura, Gadiano, and Hagedorn joined Awat’s instantaneous plea which lead the council to urgently decide on amending the council’s house rules.

The councilors expressed their concerns and then decided on the new set of rules such as allowing the yielding of time of one councilor to another; limiting the questions of each councilor to only 1 per round; and having the secretary keep track of time through a timer; among others.

“The session started at 10 a.m. and it’s already past 11 a.m. hindi pa tayo tapos at ang pinaguusapan lang natin is isang item. May I just remind my colleagues kasi minsan nagfo-focus tayo masyado sa question hour eh meron namang committee meetings at doon ‘sky is the limit’ when it comes to questions,” Gadiano said on his closing statement.

The Council is expected to observe the new rules and schedule on the succeeding sessions.