TITLE IV: THE PROVINCE
CHAPTER I | Role and Creation of the Province
Section 459. Role of the Province. - The province, composed of cluster of municipalities, or municipalities and component cities, and as a political and corporate unit of government, serves as dynamic mechanism for developmental processes and effective governance of local government units within its territorial jurisdiction.
Section 460. Manner of Creation. - A province may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, only by an Act of Congress and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the COMELEC in the local government unit or units directly affected. The plebiscite shall be held within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of effectivity of said Act, unless otherwise provided therein.
Section 461. Requisites for Creation.
(a) A province may be created if it has an average annual income, as certified by the Department of Finance, of not less than Twenty million pesos (P20,000,000.00) based on 1991 constant prices and either of the following requisites:
(i) a contiguous territory of at least two thousand (2,000) square kilometers, as certified by the Lands Management Bureau; or
(ii) a population of not less than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) inhabitants as certified by the National Statistics Office:
Provided, That, the creation thereof shall not reduce the land area, population, and income of the original unit or units at the time of said creation to less than the minimum requirements prescribed herein.
(b) The territory need not be contiguous if it comprise two (2) or more islands or is separated by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute to the income of the province.
(c) The average annual income shall include the income accruing to the general fund, exclusive of special funds, trust funds, transfers and non-recurring income.
Section 462. Existing Sub-Provinces. - Existing sub-provinces are hereby converted into regular provinces upon approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be held in the said subprovinces and the original provinces directly affected. The plebiscite shall be conducted by the COMELEC simultaneously with the national elections following the effectivity of this Code.
The new legislative districts created as a result of such conversion shall continue to be represented in Congress by the duly-elected representatives of the original districts out of which said new provinces or districts were created until their own representatives shall have been elected in the next regular congressional elections and qualified.
The incumbent elected officials of the said subprovinces converted into regular provinces shall continue to hold office until June 30, 1992. Any vacancy occurring in the offices occupied by said incumbent elected officials, or resulting from expiration of their terms of office in case of a negative vote in the plebiscite results, shall be filled by appointment by the President. The appointees shall hold office until their successors shall have been elected in the regular local elections following the plebiscite mentioned herein and qualified. After effectivity of such conversion, the President shall fill up the position of governor of the newly-created province through appointment if none has yet been appointed to the same as hereinbefore provided, and shall also appoint a vice-governor and the other members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, all of whom shall likewise hold office until their successors shall have been elected in the next regular local elections and qualified.
All qualified appointive officials and employees in the career service of the said subprovinces at the time of their conversion into regular provinces shall continue in office in accordance with civil service law, rules and regulations.
CHAPTER II | Provincial Officials in General
Section 463. Officials of the Provincial Government.
(a) There shall be in each province a governor, a vice-governor, members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, a secretary to the sangguniang panlalawigan, a provincial treasurer, a provincial assessor, a provincial accountant, a provincial engineer, a provincial budget officer, a provincial planning and development coordinator, a provincial legal officer, a provincial administrator, a provincial health officer, a provincial social welfare and development officer, a provincial general services officer, a provincial agriculturist, and a provincial veterinarian.
(b) In addition thereto, the governor may appoint a provincial population officer, a provincial natural resources and environment officer, a provincial cooperative officer, a provincial architect, and a provincial information officer.
The appointment of a provincial population officer shall be optional in the province: Provided, however, That provinces which have existing population offices shall continue to maintain such offices for a period of five (5) years from the date of the effectivity of this Code, after which said offices shall become optional.
(c) The sangguniang panlalawigan may:
(1) Maintain existing offices not mentioned in subsections (a) and (b) hereof;
(2) Create such other offices as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the provincial government; or
(3) Consolidate the functions of any office with those of another in the interest of efficiency and economy;
(d) Unless otherwise provided herein, heads of departments and offices shall be appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the majority of all the sangguniang panlalawigan members, subject to civil service law, rules and regulations. The sangguniang panlalawigan shall act on the appointment within fifteen (15) days from the date of its submission; otherwise the same shall be deemed confirmed;
(e) Elective and appointive provincial officials shall receive such compensation, allowances, and other emoluments as may be determined by law or ordinance, subject to the budgetary limitations on personal services prescribed under Title Five, Book II of this Code: Provided, That, no increase in compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the elective officials approving such increase.
Section 464. Residence and Office. - During the incumbency of the governor, he shall have his official residence in the capital of the province. All elective and appointive provincial officials shall hold office in the provincial capital: Provided, That, upon resolution of the sangguniang panlalawigan, elective and appointive provincial officials may hold office in any component city or municipality within the province for a period of not more than seven (7) days for any given month.
CHAPTER III | Officials and Offices Common to All Provinces
The Provincial Governor
Section 465. The Chief Executive: Powers, Duties, Functions, and Compensation.
(a) The provincial governor, as the chief executive of the provincial government, shall exercise such powers and perform such duties and functions as provided by this Code and other laws.
(b) For efficient, effective and economical governance the purpose of which is the general welfare of the province and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code, the provincial governor shall:
(1) Exercise general supervision and control over all programs, projects, services, and activities of the provincial government, and in this connection, shall:
(i) Determine the guidelines of provincial policies and be responsible to the sangguniang panlalawigan for the program of government;
(ii) Direct the formulation of the provincial development plan, with the assistance of the provincial development council, and upon approval thereof by the sangguniang panlalawigan, implement the same;
(iii) Present the program of government and propose policies and projects for the consideration of the sangguniang panlalawigan at the opening of the regular session of the sangguniang panlalawigan every calendar year and as after as may be deemed necessary as the general welfare of the inhabitants and the needs of the provincial government may require;
(iv) Initiate and propose legislative measures to the sangguniang panlalawigan and as often as may be deemed necessary, provide such information and data needed or requested by said sanggunian in the performance of its legislative functions;
(v) Appoint all officials and employees whose salaries and wages are wholly or mainly paid out of provincial funds and whose appointments are not otherwise provided for in this Code, as well as those he may be authorized by law to appoint;
(vi) Represent the province in all its business transactions and sign in its behalf all bonds, contracts, and obligations, and such other documents upon authority of the sangguniang panlalawigan or pursuant to law or ordinance;
(vii) Carry out such emergency measures as may be necessary during and in the aftermath of man-made and natural disasters and calamities;
(viii) Determine the time, manner and place of payment of salaries or wages of the officials and employees of the province, in accordance with law or ordinance;
(ix) Allocate and assign office space to provincial and other officials and employees who, by law or ordinance, are entitled to such space in the provincial capitol and other buildings owned or leased by the provincial government;
(x) Ensure that all executive officials and employees of the province faithfully discharge their duties and functions as provided by law and this Code, and cause to be instituted administrative or judicial proceedings against any official or employee of the province who may have committed an offense in the performance of his official duties;
(xi) Examine the books, records and other documents of all offices, officials, agents or employees of the province and, in aid of his executive powers and authority, require all national officials and employees stationed in the province to make available to him such books, records, and other documents in their custody, except those classified by law as confidential;
(xii) Furnish copies of executive orders issued by him to the Office of the President within seventy-two (72) hours after their issuance;
(xiii) Visit component cities and municipalities of the province at least once every six (6) months to deepen his understanding of problems and conditions, listen and give appropriate counsel to local officials and inhabitants, inform the officials and inhabitants of component cities and municipalities of general laws and ordinances which especially concern them, and otherwise conduct visits and inspections to ensure that the governance of the province will improve the quality of life of the inhabitants;
(xiv) Act on leave applications of officials and employees appointed by him and the commutation of the monetary value of leave credits in accordance with law;
(xv) Authorize official trips of provincial officials and employees outside of the province for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days;
(xvi) Call upon any national official or employee stationed in or assigned to the province to advise him on matters affecting the province and to make recommendations thereon; coordinate with said official or employee in the formulation and implementation of plans, programs and projects; and when appropriate, initiate an administrative or judicial action against a national government official or employee who may have committed an offense in the performance of his official duties while stationed in or assigned to the province;
(xvii) Authorize payment for medical care, necessary transportation, subsistence, hospital or medical fees of provincial officials and employees who are injured while in the performance of their official duties and functions, subject to availability of funds;
(xviii) Represent the province in inter-provincial or regional sports councils or committees, and coordinate the efforts of component cities or municipalities in the regional or national palaro or sports development activities;
(xix) Conduct an annual palarong panlalawigan, which shall feature traditional sports and disciplines included in national and international games in coordination with the Department of Education, Culture and Sports; and
(xx) Submit to the Office of the President the following reports: an annual report containing a summary of all matters pertinent to the management, administration and development of the province and all information and data relative to its political, social and economic conditions; and supplemental reports when unexpected events and situations arise at any time during the year, particularly when man-made or natural disasters or calamities affect the general welfare of the province, region or country;
(2) Enforce all laws and ordinances relative to the governance of the province and the exercise of the appropriate corporate powers provided for under Section 22 of this Code, implement all approved policies, programs, projects, services and activities of the province and, in addition to the foregoing, shall:
(i) Ensure that the acts of the component cities and municipalities of the province and of its officials and employees are within the scope of their prescribed powers, duties and functions;
(ii) Call conventions, conferences, seminars, or meetings of any elective and appointive officials of the province and its component cities and municipalities, including national officials and employees stationed in or assigned to the province, at such time and place and on such subject as he may deem important for the promotion of the general welfare of the province and its inhabitants;
(iii) Issue such executive orders for the faithful and appropriate enforcement and execution of laws and ordinances;
(iv) Be entitled to carry the necessary firearm within his territorial jurisdiction;
(v) In coordination with the mayors of component cities and municipalities and the National Police Commission, formulate the peace and order plan of the province and upon its approval, implement the same in accordance with R.A. No. 6975;
(vi) Call upon the appropriate national law enforcement agencies to suppress disorder, riot, lawless violence, rebellion or sedition or to apprehend violators of the law when public interest so requires and the police forces of the component city or municipality where the disorder or violation is happening are inadequate to cope with the situation or the violators;
(3) Initiate and maximize the generation of resources and revenues, and apply the same to the implementation of development plans, program objectives and priorities as provided for under Section 18 of this Code, particularly those resources and revenues programmed for agro-industrial development and country-wide growth and progress and, relative thereto, shall:
(i) Require each head of an office or department to prepare and submit an estimate of appropriations for the ensuing calendar year, in accordance with the budget preparation process under Title Five, Book II of this Code;
(ii) Prepare and submit to the sanggunian for approval the executive and supplemental budgets of the province for the ensuing calendar year in the manner provided for under Title Five, Book II of this Code;
(iii) Ensure that all taxes and other revenues of the province are collected, and that provincial funds are applied to the payment of expenses and settlement of obligations of the province, in accordance with law or ordinance;
(iv) Issue licenses and permits and suspend or revoke the same for any violation of the conditions upon which said licenses or permits had been issued, pursuant to law or ordinance;
(v) Adopt adequate measures to safeguard and conserve land, mineral, marine, forest and other resources of the province, in coordination with the mayors of component cities and municipalities; provide efficient and effective property and supply management in the province; and protect the funds, credits, rights, and other properties of the province; and
(vi) Institute or cause to be instituted administrative or judicial proceedings for violation of ordinances in the collection of taxes, fees or charges, and for the recovery of funds and property, and cause the province to be defended against all suits to ensure that its interests, resources and rights shall be adequately protected.
(4) Ensure the delivery of basic services and the provision of adequate facilities as provided for under Section 17 of this Code, and in addition thereto, shall:
(i) Ensure that the construction and repair of roads and highways funded by the national government shall be, as far as practicable, carried out in a spatially contiguous manner and in coordination with the construction and repair of the roads and bridges of the province and of its component cities and municipalities; and
(ii) Coordinate the implementation of technical services by national offices for the province and its component cities and municipalities, including public works and infrastructure programs of the provincial government and its component cities and municipalities;
(5) Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.
(c) The provincial governor shall receive a minimum monthly compensation corresponding to Salary Grade thirty (30) prescribed under R.A. No. 6758 and the implementing guidelines issued pursuant thereto.
The Provincial Vice-Governor
Section 466. Powers, Duties, and Compensation.
(a) The vice-governor shall:
(1) Be the presiding officer of the sangguniang panlalawigan and sign all warrants drawn on the provincial treasury for all expenditures appropriated for the operation of the sangguniang panlalawigan;
(2) Subject to civil service law, rules and regulations, appoint all officials and employees of the sangguniang panlalawigan, except those whose manner of appointment is specially provided in this Code;
(3) Assume the office of the governor for the unexpired term of the latter in the event of permanent vacancy as provided for in Section 44, Book I of this Code;
(4) Exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the governor in cases of temporary vacancy as provided for in Section 46, Book I of this Code; and
(5) Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.
(b) The vice-governor shall receive a monthly compensation corresponding to Salary Grade twenty-eight (28) as prescribed under R.A. No. 6758 and the implementing guidelines issued pursuant thereto.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan
Section 467. Composition.
(a) The sangguniang panlalawigan, the legislative body of the province, shall be composed of the provincial vice-governor as presiding officer, the regular sanggunian members, the president of the provincial chapter of the liga ng mga barangay, the president of the panlalawigang pederasyon ng mga sangguniang kabataan, the president of the provincial federation of sanggunian members of municipalities and component cities and the sectoral representatives, as members.
(b) In addition thereto, there shall be three (3) sectoral representatives: one (1) from the women; and as shall be determined by the sanggunian concerned within ninety (90) days prior to the holding of the local elections, one (1) from the agricultural or industrial workers; and one (1) from other sectors including the urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, or disabled persons.
(c) The regular members of the sangguniang panlalawigan and the sectoral representatives shall be elected in the manner as may be provided for by law.
Section 468. Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation.
(a) The sangguniang panlalawigan, as the legislative body of the province, shall enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the province and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code in the proper exercise of the corporate powers of the province as provided for under Section 22 of this Code, and shall:
(1) Approve ordinances and pass resolutions necessary for an efficient and effective provincial government and, in this connection, shall:
(i) Review all ordinances approved by the sangguniang of component cities and municipalities and executive orders issued by the mayors of said component units to determine whether these are within the scope of the prescribed powers of the sanggunian and of the mayor;
(ii) Maintain peace and order by enacting measures to prevent and suppress lawlessness, disorder, riot, violence, rebellion or sedition and impose penalties for the violation of said ordinances;
(iii) Approve ordinances imposing a fine not exceeding Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) or imprisonment not exceeding one (1) year, or both in the discretion of the court, for the violation of a provincial ordinance;
(iv) Adopt measures to protect the inhabitants of the province from harmful effects of man-made or natural disasters and calamities, and to provide relief services and assistance for victims during and in the aftermath of said disasters and calamities and their return to productive livelihood following said events;
(v) Enact ordinances intended to prevent, suppress and impose appropriate penalties for habitual drunkenness in public places, vagrancy, mendicancy, prostitution, establishment and maintenance of houses of ill repute, gambling and other prohibited games of chance, fraudulent devices and ways to obtain money or property, drug addiction, maintenance of drug dens, drug pushing, juvenile delinquency, the printing, distribution or exhibition of obscene or pornographic materials or publications, and other activities inimical to the welfare and morals of the inhabitants of the province;
(vi) Protect the environment and impose appropriate penalties for acts which endanger the environment, such as dynamite fishing and other forms of destructive fishing, illegal logging and smuggling of logs, smuggling of natural resources products and of endangered species of flora and fauna, slash and burn farming, and such other activities which result in pollution acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and lakes, or of ecological imbalance;
(vii) Subject to the provisions of this Code and pertinent laws, determine the powers and duties of officials and employees of the province;
(viii) Determine the positions and the salaries, wages, allowances and other emoluments and benefits of officials and employees paid wholly or mainly from provincial funds and provide for expenditures necessary for the proper conduct of programs, projects, services, and activities of the provincial government;
(ix) Authorize the payment of compensation to a qualified person not in the government service who fills up a temporary vacancy, or grant honorarium to any qualified official or employee designated to fill a temporary vacancy in a concurrent capacity, at the rate authorized by law;
(x) Provide a mechanism and the appropriate funds therefor, to ensure the safety and protection of all provincial government property, public documents, or records such as those relating to property inventory, land ownership, records of births, marriages, deaths, assessments, taxation, accounts, business permits, and such other records and documents of public interest in the offices and departments of the provincial government; and
(xi) When the finances of the provincial government allow, provide for additional allowances and other benefits to judges, prosecutors, public elementary and high school teachers, and other national government officials stationed or assigned to the province.
(2) Generate and maximize the use of resources and revenues for the development plans, program objectives and priorities of the province as provided for under Section 18 of this Code, with particular attention to agro-industrial development and country-wide growth and progress and relative thereto, shall:
(i) Enact the annual and supplemental appropriations of the provincial government and appropriate funds for specific programs, projects, services and activities of the province, or for other purposes not contrary to law, in order to promote the general welfare of the province and its inhabitants;
(ii) Subject to the provisions of Book II of this Code and applicable laws and upon the majority vote of all the members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, enact ordinances levying taxes, fees and charges, prescribing the rates thereof for general and specific purposes, and granting tax exemptions, incentives or reliefs;
(iii) Subject to the provisions of Book II of this Code and applicable laws and upon the majority vote of all the members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, authorize the provincial governor to negotiate and contract loans and other forms of indebtedness;
(iv) Subject to the provisions of Book II of this Code and applicable laws and upon the majority vote of all the members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, enact ordinances authorizing the floating of bonds or other instruments of indebtedness, for the purpose of raising funds to finance development projects;
(v) Appropriate funds for the construction and maintenance or the rental of buildings for the use of the province; and upon the majority vote of all the members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, authorize the provincial governor to lease to private parties such public buildings held in a proprietary capacity, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations;
(vi) Prescribe reasonable limits and restraints on the use of property within the jurisdiction of the province;
(vii) Review the comprehensive land use plans and zoning ordinances of component cities and municipalities and adopt a comprehensive provincial land use plan, subject to existing laws; and
(viii) Adopt measures to enhance the full implementation of the national agrarian reform program in coordination with the Department of Agrarian Reform;
(3) Subject to the provisions of Book II of this Code, grant franchises, approve the issuance of permits or licenses, or enact ordinances levying taxes, fees and charges upon such conditions and for such purposes intended to promote the general welfare of the inhabitants of the province, and pursuant to this legislative authority, shall:
(i) Fix and impose reasonable fees and charges for all services rendered by the provincial government to private persons or entities; and
(ii) Regulate and fix the license fees for such activities as provided for under this Code.
(4) Approve ordinances which shall ensure the efficient and effective delivery of basic services and facilities as provided for under Section 17 of this Code, and, in addition to said services and facilities, shall:
(i) Adopt measures and safeguards against pollution and for the preservation of the natural ecosystem in the province, in consonance with approved standards on human settlements and environmental sanitation;
(ii) Subject to applicable laws, facilitate or provide for the establishment and maintenance of waterworks system or district waterworks for supplying water to inhabitants of component cities and municipalities;
(iii) Subject to the availability of funds and to existing laws, rules and regulations, provide for the establishment and operation of vocational and technical schools and similar post-secondary institutions; and, with the approval of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports and subject to existing laws on tuition fees, fix reasonable tuition fees and other school charges in educational institutions supported by the provincial government;
(iv) Establish a scholarship fund for the poor but deserving students in schools located within its jurisdiction or for students residing within the province;
(v) Approve measures and adopt quarantine regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases within its territorial jurisdiction;
(vi) Provide for the care of paupers, the aged, the sick, persons of unsound mind, abandoned minors, abused children, disabled persons, juvenile delinquents, drug dependents, and other needy and disadvantaged persons, particularly children and youth below eighteen (18) years of age; subject to availability of funds, establish and support the operation of centers and facilities for said needy and disadvantaged persons; and facilitate efforts to promote the welfare of families below the poverty threshold, the disadvantaged, and the exploited;
(vii) Establish and provide the maintenance and improvement of jails and detention centers, institute a sound jail management program, and appropriate funds for the subsistence of detainees and convicted prisoners in the province;
(viii) Establish a provincial council whose purpose is the promotion of culture and the arts, coordinate with government agencies and non-governmental organizations and, subject to the availability of funds, appropriate funds for the support and development of the same;
(ix) Establish a provincial council for the elderly which shall formulate policies and adopt measures mutually beneficial to the elderly and to the province; and subject to the availability of funds, appropriate funds to support programs and projects for the elderly; and provide incentives for non-governmental agencies and entities to support the programs and projects of the elderly; and
(5) Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.
(b) The members of the sangguniang panlalawigan shall receive a minimum monthly compensation corresponding to Salary Grade twenty-seven (27) as prescribed under R.A. No. 6758 and the implementing guidelines issued pursuant thereto.