December 5, 2022

Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan wants to ensure that rank-and-file city government employees and barangay officials are given legal assistance when sued while performing their official functions.
In his proposed ordinance, Olowan seeks the help of the City Legal Office for the provision of legal counseling, preparation of pleadings, representation in courts/tribunals/quasi-judicial bodies/other special bodies, and other legal assistance to barangay officials and city government employees.
The assistance shall not apply if the case is between or among barangay officials, city officials, and/or employees, and if there is a conflict of interest.
Budgetary requirements shall be incorporated in the yearly budget of the CLO.
Olowan invoked Section 458 of the Local Government Code which seeks to provide legal assistance to barangay officials who in the performance of their official duties or on occasion thereof have to initiate judicial proceedings or defend themselves against legal action.
The same law states that the city legal officer shall perform other functions and exercise other powers subject to local legislation.
The vice mayor said there is no specific provision of the code prohibiting the CLO from representing the city government’s rank-and-file employees sued by virtue of their official functions.
The proposed ordinance was referred to the committee on ethics, governmental affairs and personnel. – Jordan G. Habbiling